berry picking, jam, preserves, sttrawberries, wild berries, wild strawberries, wild strawberry jam
I spent a blissful two hours picking wild strawberries on the trail last weekend. I had been picking small handfuls of them every morning and evening on our walks over the past two weeks and enjoying the sweet burst of flavor each little berry contains, but now it was time to do some serious picking. This time I brought along a large basket, dressed in rain pants (in order to crawl around on the ground) and wore mosquito netting. Lucy, as always, is a patient foraging companion. She just wanders around quietly nearby or curls up beside me in the tall grass and relaxes in the morning sunshine, eyes half closed.
I managed to pick enough berries for four medium jars of strawberry jam. As I didn’t have a lot of time for sterilizing jars, etc. I decided to try a freezer jam recipe from Jean Pare (Company’s Coming) which worked quite well. I am looking forward to opening these up on a cold winter’s morning and tasting sweet summer sunshine on my pancakes or toast or even served with chocolate or ice cream!
4 cups sliced strawberries (or whole wild strawberries)
4 cups sugar (I use raw cane sugar)
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh or bottled
Place strawberries in a large pot. Cover with 2 cups of the sugar. Heat and stir on high until it comes to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 3 minutes, stirring continually.
Add remaining sugar. Return to a boil, stirring continually. Boil hard for three more minutes while continuing to stir. Remove from heat.
Add lemon juice. Stir and skim off foam. Cool. Fill jars or plastic containers leaving at least one inch at the top for expansion. Let stand on counter for 24 hours to set. Freeze. Makes 4 half pints.