It’s strawberry season here, and that means hauling out the canning kettle and making some jam. My usual strawberry jam is the recipe in the pectin package, which is marvelous if your berries are absolutely fresh.
I made that recipe on Sunday when I picked up a flat of berries at Lorence’s outside of Northfield. With lots of berries still on hand, I decided to try something different — sweet, but with a hint of something else. After searching around, I found this recipe from a blog called Jammed In. I liked the idea of a jam with a little heat, but thought that adding real peppers might round out the flavor more and I wanted more of a strawberry flavor. I happened to have two ripe mangoes in the fridge, plus about 3 quarts of strawberries left in my flat. Here’s the recipe:
Strawberry-Mango Jam with a Kick
2 ripe mangoes, diced in about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
6 cups strawberries (sliced and chopped to equal about 4 cups)
1 (or more!) jalepeno pepper, chopped finely
1 organic lemon, zest and juice
1 box powdered pectin (such as Sure-Jel)
6 cups sugar
This recipe makes six half-pint jars, plus not quite a cup extra. Make sure you have all the equipment you need at hand before you begin.
Chop the fruit and pepper, mix together with the zest and juice of the lemon and 2 cups of sugar. Set aside for about an hour. Meanwhile, wash and prep the jars and lids for your jam and get the boiling-water canner started on the heat. (It takes about 30 minutes for my canner to come up to a boil, so give yourself time.)
After fruit has marinated, mix in the pectin and set the mixture in a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring it to a full, rolling boil that you cannot stir down. Add, all at once, the remaining 4 cups of sugar. Stir and bring it back to a full, rolling boil. Cook about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add the jam to prepared jars. Put on lids and screwtops, then boil in the canner for 12 minutes. Remove the jars and listen for the pops.
For basic jam-making instructions, check out this tutorial or this video. If I were to make the recipe again, I would add another 1 or 2 peppers. The extra heat tastes really interesting under the sweet, fruity jam flavor.