Wild weather here in New Hampshire lately - everything from over a foot of wet snow, to rain, to a wild windstorm that knocked out power. And is there anything better than whipping up some warm, fresh strawberry jam to spread on toast once the power comes back on? I'll certainly vote for it!
Winter strawberries may not be as fragrant as the early Florida berries, or the local June and July strawberries, but they still taste wonderfully better than store-bought jam. I like to put a drop of vanilla in winter jams; it captures some of the perfume of sun ripened berries. And it's quick to make (under a half hour), so you can have a bowl of warm jam on the table in time for breakfast.
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 drop good vanilla
1 1/2 cups warmed sugar
3 T. fresh lemon juice
Turn oven to 200F.
Measure out the sugar and place in a heat proof bowl. Set aside.
* * *
Place the berries, vanilla, and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed pot and turn to medium-high heat. When the berries start bubbling, mash them with a potato masher, and keep stirring.
Place the sugar in the oven for 5 minutes, then remove.
Add the warmed sugar to the berries and lemon juice and continue stirring on medium-high heat.
Cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until jam thickens and drops heavily from a wooden spoon.
Remove jam from heat and cool.
Scoop into jars or glasses and serve immediately. It will thicken even more as it cools.
Note: This jam is just wonderful on rosemary rolls!