Allison Carroll Duffy is a food preserver, vegetable
gardener, cook and foodcrafter (as she calls it), and mom of two young boys. She is a Master Food Preserver, teaches classes, and writes about canning and preserving on her own blog,
CanningCraft, as well as other places. Her new book, Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fairwinds Press, 2013), is available now. Her goal is to inspire people to do more canning and preserving, foodcrafting and home cooking, and to bring more of the traditional arts of the kitchen back into our homes and everyday lives.
This is Allison's first guest blog on the Pomona's Pectin website -- and we are happy to welcome her. As a Jam Notes subscriber, you will get an "update" via email for Allison's occasional guest blogs.
It's strawberry time at last! Of course, folks in warmer climates have no doubt been enjoying local fruit for a while now, but here in Maine, we have no choice but to be patient. Strawberries are the first fruit crop of the season around here, and those grown outdoors are rarely ready before mid-June--and often the season isn't really underway until closer to the solstice. So when the fruit is finally ripe, when the fields are open for picking, and when stands selling quarts of fresh-picked berries spring up along the roadsides, are we ever ready!
In-season strawberries are so delicious just as they are that I rarely combine them with other flavors. But earlier this week, following an afternoon of picking at our local strawberry fields, my boys and I came home with about 50 pounds of berries.
After making lots of our usual strawberry jams, and freezing a bunch of berries, we still had more to go, so I thought I'd try something new. I've yet to find a fruit that ginger doesn't complement, so I decided to give strawberries and ginger a go. And indeed, the result was quite delicious. The honey in the recipe tempers the subtle heat of the ginger, and both ingredients add a bit more complexity than strawberry jam or preserves often have.
Some jams and preserves--strawberry in particular--have a tendency to separate during processing, with the fruit floating to the top of the jar, and the liquid remaining at the bottom. Don't be alarmed--this is common. If your preserve does separate, all you need to do is mix it up well before serving. Because this is a preserve, the strawberries remain more whole than they would in a jam, which makes it an especially good topping for many desserts. Spooned on top of cheesecake or ice cream, perhaps? Yes, please.
Honeyed Strawberry-Ginger Preserves
Yield: 4 to 5 cups
To do ahead of time:
Prepare the calcium water. To do this, combine 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder (included in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin package) with 1/2 cup water in a small, clear container with a lid. Shake well before using. Note that you will have more calcium water than you will end up using in this recipe; simply store it in the refrigerator for later use.
Honeyed Strawberry-Ginger Preserves Ingredients:
2 1/4 pounds strawberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons calcium water
2 teaspoons finely-grated ginger root
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons Pomona's Universal Pectin powder
Honeyed Strawberry-Ginger Preserves Directions:
1. Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
2. Rinse strawberries, then remove and discard stems.
3. Place strawberries in a sauce pan along with the 1/2 cup of water. Bring the berries up to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, and very gently, to avoid crushing the berries. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, continuing to stir occasionally, just until the berries start to soften--about 1 to 2 minutes. Then, remove pan from heat.
4. Measure out 4 cups of the cooked strawberry mixture. (If you have any left over, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured strawberry mixture into a large sauce pan. Add lemon juice, calcium water, and grated ginger root.
5. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.
6. Bring strawberry mixture to a rolling boil over high heat. Add honey-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return preserves to a boil, then remove from heat.
7. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with preserves, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands.
8. Place jars in the hot water in the canner, place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
9. Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove jars from canner.
10. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then, confirm that jars have sealed.
Enjoy your preserves! Or, store properly for later use.
Recipe by Allison Carroll Duffy. To print the recipe only, click here, scroll to the bottom of the page that comes up, and click the Print button.
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