Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grown-Up's Jam

Nature gives to every season
a Beauty all its own 
~Charles Dickens
The last of the season's strawberries found their way into my kitchen and I decided I'd make another batch of my Strawberry/Jalapeno Jam or like my dear friend, Nicole, calls it...Jam for Grown Ups!  The first batch I made several weeks ago had a mild "kick" of jalapeno in it and everyone I gave the jam to said, "it could be hotter."  I listened...and added more heat!

This was the first summer I've played around with combinations of fruits and spices and I've come up with some good ones.  The first time I made Strawberry/Jalapeno was an idea I had for a jam for our son-in-law, Matt, who eats jam on his eggs.  Apparently, this is a mid-west thing and I'm not one to judge with my quirky combinations, but others I sent it to paired it up with cheese & crackers and my sister used it on panini's!  Today, I sampled the "heat" with a little cream cheese spread on a cracker, but a nice cherve, brie, or even Vermont cheddar would be perfect.

As the nights turn cooler, the leaves change then, fall, it will be nice to cuddle up by a fire (in our case, a gas fire :), pour a glass of wine and enjoy the Beauty of the season.

Strawberry~Jalapeno Jam
4-5 pints of strawberries, washed and hulled
3 Jalapenos
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. unsalted butter
7 cups of granulated sugar
1 box Sure-Jel powdered pectin

Prepare the strawberries and jalapenos.  After washing the strawberries, I use a strawberry huller to remove the stem and core.
I like to remove the hard "core" so I have nothing but sweet berry in my recipes.  Remove the stem from the jalapeno and slice in half.  I removed some of the membrane, but made sure, this time, I put in the seeds from 1 1/2 jalapenos.  The first time I made this jam, I only put in seeds from one-half of a jalapeno!  Place the strawberries and jalapenos in a food processor and pulse until you have a puree.
You need five cups of fruit for this recipe.  Place the fruit, lemon juice, butter, and powdered pectin in a large Dutch oven.  I use a Le Cruset that is an enameled lined cast iron pot.  I've found this provides the most evenly distributed heat to jam making.

On a medium/high heat, bring this mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Add the sugar, all at once and stir to combine.  Bring the mixture back to a boil, then set a timer for one minute, stirring constantly.  Turn off the heat and ladle into the hot, sterilized jars.  Seal and turn upside-down.  After 10-15 minutes, turn the jars right-side-up and you should hear them "pop" indicating they have sealed.  

Jam keeps on the shelf for a year, although, between giving it out to friends and family, all the baking I do, and all the peanut butter & jam sandwiches I eat, it never lasts that long.  This is definitely a combination I will make for many years to come.  Enjoy!


  1. Hmmmm, sweet fruits with jalepeno always makes me wonder. You got me, I guess I need to give this one a try!

  2. Hi Allison~ I bet it would be good with apples and cranberries too. Did you receive the apron? I've been thinking about you and your orchard. xoxo

  3. Hello Susan,

    I can't imagine how it tastes but I always like to try new combinations in making jam.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Guusje M.

  4. Yes! Grown up jam has certainly become one of our favorites! : ) Delicious exactly how you served it here! I love the cardamom spiced jam too!

  5. You never cease to amaze me!! I can't wait to try it!

  6. This sounds delicious. I love things with juxtaposing flavors - sweet/hot or sweet/salty. They add a complexity that is irresistable to my taste buds. :D

    I wish I could get caught up with my backlog before all the good fruit is gone for this season. This is a recipe I would definitely make. Oh well, I guess I'll have to settle for the old stand-by of cream cheese and red pepper jelly spread on cracked pepper crackers. :(

    Sending you warm hugs, -mary

  7. Love anything made with fresh strawberries! Looks good!