If you love strawberries, you’ll want to make this quick and easy jam.
Strawberries. The first real sign that summer, and summer canning, will soon be here. Fresh strawberries eaten out of hand. Fresh strawberries sliced over shortcake. Fresh strawberries added to my morning smoothie. But seldom do I turn fresh strawberries into jam.
No More Tasteless Strawberry Jams
I find most traditional strawberry jams disappointing. They either cook too long and lose all the delicate strawberry flavor, or they use so much pectin that they are gummy. But this year the backyard strawberry patch (abandoned two years ago) has turned into a strawberry making machine! The patch has been there for 20 years, and this is the first prolific year. Usually there are only a few berries and the bugs get them before I do. This year there are enough for both me and the bugs. Plus, the June Mastery Challenge over on Food in Jars is Jam, leading me to jam creativity!
No Pectin, But Lots of Flavor
A big bowl of strawberries has a short shelf life, even in the refrigerator. So, I set to work coming up with a recipe that would keep the fresh strawberry flavor but didn’t include commercial pectin. I thought about making an apple strawberry jam or a cherry strawberry jam but neither seemed just right. Then I noticed the last, very-ripe mango hanging out on the kitchen counter. Mango has lots of pectin, complementing strawberry’s low pectin. And while lemon juice is most commonly used for acid in strawberry jam, lime enhances both strawberry and mango flavors, so lime juice it was.
Quick, Easy, and the Perfect Soft Spread
Whenever you use mango, be prepared for the spread to set up quickly. This recipe was quick and easy. Serve it on homemade biscuits or as a cake filling with whipped cream.
- 2 ¼ cups roughly mashed ripe strawberries (about 1 lb)
- ¾ cup mashed ripe mango (1 large)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- Add the strawberries, mango, sugar, and lime juice to a large Dutch oven.
- Slowly bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- Turn the heat up a little and cook rapidly, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the jam reaches the gelling point, about 15 minutes.
- Use the plate method to check for gelling. Be careful not to overcook.
- Spoon the hot jam into prepared jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.
- Wipe the lip of each jar with a damp paper towel, top the jars with a lid and a lid ring.
- Process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely
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Eek! As I prepped everything, I realized my bottled lime juice was rancid! Can I substitute either fresh lime juice or bottled lemon juice (or fresh lemon juice) and it will still be okay for canning? Thanks!
Tirza, bottled lemon juice will be perfect! Fresh citrus juice usually isn’t recommended because the acid level fluctuates too much. Good luck!
What’s the plate method?
Sue, so sorry for the delayed reply. Check out today’s Technique Tuesday post for an explanation of the plate method, and other ways to test for jam set.