Alice Water’s shared this recipe with me many years ago when I interviewed her for a newspaper article. It’s the recipe I turn to every summer when Hood strawberries begin to make their appearance. As Alice explains, “This method of jam-making requires a little patience, but it is among the best ways to preserve fresh strawberry flavor. At Chez Panisse, we make it to capture the floral quality of wild strawberries.”
[This recipe comes from Zupan’s Markets Summer 2012 issue of Indulge Magazine (Vol. 5, Issue 1) — reprinted with author permission.]
5 C fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into thin slices
2 C granulated sugar
A few drops lemon juice (optional)
In a medium-size, non-reactive pot, toss the strawberries with the sugar and let them sit for 15 minutes while their juices are released and the sugar dissolves. Cook the berries over high heat for 10 minutes, skimming off any white foam as it rises in the center.
Immediately pour the hot jam into a 9×13″ glass baking dish or other glass dishes with a surface area large enough that the jam will spread to a thickness of no more than ½”. Let the jam cool uncovered. If the jam is thinner than desired, let it sit out in a sunny spot to thicken. This can take a few days. Make sure the spot you choose is inaccessible to ants. If you want to put the jam outside, cover it with plastic wrap with a few holes punched in it to allow continued evaporation. When the jam has reached the desired texture, taste it and adjust the sweetness with lemon juice, if necessary. Transfer to clean glass jars, seal tightly, and keep refrigerated for up to a month.