Lasting summer

Last night, I had a dream that it snowed.  I was really disappointed when I realized that it was already in the mid-70s at 7am.    Confession: Summer is not my favorite season.  I love the fresh food and the pool opportunities and all, but I really, really hate being hot.  Really a LOT.  I love all the summer fun, I just don’t like being hot.

However, when I pop open a jar of my jam in the dead of winter, I sure am grateful for that heat that helped the fruit grow and ripen!  This recipe was inspired by the Strawberry and Lemon Preserves from Canning for a New Generation.  I adjusted the flavors a bit to give the jam more what I was looking for: a sweet jam than that finishes with just a little bit of a tart zing!

Strawberry Lemonade Jam

  • 3 pounds strawberries; cleaned, hulled, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 lemons; skins washed and sliced thinly
Once all the fruit has been washed and sliced/chopped, place it in a large bowl or lidded container.  Sprinkle the sugar over the top and then stir to combine.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.  This time allows for the berries to thoroughly macerate in the sugar and form a thick syrup.
Transfer the berry mixture to a large, heavy bottomed pan and mash well.  Heat over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the syrup begins to thicken.  You will need to skim foam from the top of the jam after about 10 minutes of cooking and the jam was thickened to my liking at about 20 minutes of cook time.  Remove the lemons from the jam and do a final taste test to make sure the jam is sweet enough for you.  I wanted this jam to have the tartness of a lemon as a primary flavor, but if you need more sweetness, add up to another half a cup of sugar.
This jam only makes 4 half pints of jam, so clean and sterilize those jars, lids and rings.  Bring a pot of water to boil, making sure that there is enough water so that the top of the filled jars will be covered by an inch of water.  When the water is at a roiling boil, lower the filled and capped jars in using tongs, make sure the water height covers the jars sufficiently (if not, add more hot water to the pot) and return the water to a rolling boil.  Once the water is boiling, set your timer for 10 minutes and make sure the lid sets securely on top of the pot.
When the time is complete, remove the jars from the boiling water with tongs and place on a towel to cool.  The jars will need to remain on that towel for a minimum of 12 hours while they cool and set.  Once the jars are cool to the touch, you can check the lids to make sure they have sealed.  Place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator.  Label and store the jars… ready for a cold snowy day when you are longing for some summer fun!

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