Strawberry Red Wine Jam

Even though I’ve already gone strawberry picking twice (and come home with 25 pounds of berries total), I’m tempted to go again. Initially, it was merely so that I could freeze more strawberries. I know they won’t last long come fall.

But now I want to pick more strawberries so that I can make more of this jam.

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Seriously. I didn’t even think I liked jam all that much.

Apparently I do. Maybe because the berries were the freshest possible. Or maybe because I followed Christine Ferber’s three-day method for making it. Or it could be because of the red wine. That is definitely a possibility.

Make this jam. Make it now, before strawberries go out of season. If you don’t think you’ll need all 6 jars, it would also make a great Christmas gift.

Though I have a feeling you’ll want to keep it all to yourself. I know I do. That’s why I want to make a second batch; a few more jars for me, and a few to gift to my family and friends. I’d be tempted to keep both batches entirely to myself, but I won’t be greedy. At least I’ll try not to be.

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Strawberry Red Wine Jam

Yield: Makes 6 half-pint jars

Strawberry Red Wine Jam

Adapted from Christine Ferber's Mes Confitures

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds strawberries
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 package (or 6 tablespoons) pectin

Instructions

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries. Gently mix with the wine and sugar in a large nonreactive bowl. Cover the bowl with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, bring the strawberries, wine and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Return to the bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next morning, prepare for canning. Wash the jars and flat lids with hot, soapy water. Put the jars in the canning pot and fill the pot with hot water. Heat over medium-high heat to keep the jars hot. Place the lids in a heat-proof bowl.
  4. Pour the strawberries into a colander set over a large bowl. Move the collected juice to a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the juice is 212F on a candy thermometer.
  5. Add the strawberries and pectin to the stockpot. Simmer, stirring often, until the temperature is 220F. As the jam cooks, smash some of the strawberries with the back of a wooden spoon to help even out the texture.
  6. *Savvy Tip:* The jam will still seem very liquidy at this point, but it will firm up as it cools.
  7. Move some of the boiling water from the canning pot into the heat-proof bowl containing the lids. Line the hot jars up on a folded towel, then pour the water out of the heat-proof bowl and off the lids.
  8. Fill the jars up to 1/2” below the rim. Use a clean towel to wipe any preserves off the rims, then top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring. Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Place the jars on a folded towel and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.
http://www.savvyeat.com/strawberry-red-wine-jam/

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How To Freeze Strawberries

Strawberry season is short and sweet. Within a matter of weeks, the sweet red berries turn dark and extra-sweet, slowly turning mushy and bitter. After that, fresh strawberries won’t be nearly as tasty, as they lose a lot of their flavor as they are shipped over borders into the country. So gather up all the fresh strawberries you can find, and freeze them to enjoy until the next strawberry season rolls around.

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You have three freezing methods to choose from:

Method 1: Sliced and Sweetened

This is my method of choice this summer. Not because I have a sweet tooth (though I do), but because the sugar helps bring out the flavor of the fruit. I’ve found that fruit can get a little tart over time in the freezer, but the sugar helps preserve the expected strawberry flavor.

Wash the strawberries in cold running water and set aside to drain a bit. Cut off the green and tough tops, or the hulls, then cut the fruit into thin slices. Spread the slices out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Try not to allow them to lay on top of each other, or they won’t freeze evenly.

Sprinkle the strawberries with a little sugar. The key word: little. I only use about 1 teaspoon per pint or quart. They don’t need to be swimming in sugar!

Freeze the strawberries for at least 4 hours, until they are frozen completely through. Transfer to a freezer bag or container and return to the freezer until ready to use. If you are using a bag, be sure to squeeze out all the air as you seal it. If you are using a container, leave as little empty air space available as possible. The more air you have with the strawberries, the easier it will be for your strawberries to get freezer burn. Ouch!

Use this method if… you want to defrost and eat the strawberries plain on top of a breakfast crisp or mixed into yogurt.

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Method 2: Sliced and Unsweetened

Same as Method 1, but skip the sugar step.

Use this method if… you want to bake with the strawberries or put them in pancakes, where the sweetness will be provided by the other ingredients.

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Method 3: Whole and Unsweetened

Wash the strawberries and set aside to drain. Cut off the hulls, then spread the fruit out on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Freeze the strawberries for at least 6 hours, or until they are completely frozen. Transfer to a freezer bag or container, leaving as little air space as possible, and return to the freezer.

Use this method if… you plan to use the strawberries in smoothies.


Hurry up and freeze your strawberries, then get ready for cherry season!