June in New York signals the very beginning of berry season. Although the season won’t hit its peak until July, June is the perfect time for finding ripe, sweet strawberries at pick-your-own farms and farmer’s markets – which is exactly what we’ve been doing! We picked strawberries last week as part of our Pick-You-Own farm CSA, and then again on Sunday with friends. Somehow, despite the kids chowing down on berries the entire afternoon and on the car ride home, we still managed to bring home a few juicy quarts of bright red berries. I was planning on making a Strawberry Lemon Cake with Basil Buttercream frosting with out bounty, but then I was inspired by a text message from a friend who had just opened a jar of Quince Jam I made earlier this year. Jam is the perfect way to use an abundance of fruit up. You can easily share it with friends or store it for later on in the year when you’re craving that fresh berry taste and can’t find any! I decided to try my hand at a Strawberry Basil Jam!
It may sound like an unusual combination, but I’ve been sold on the combination of basil and fruit for years. It started with my favorite jam flavor, Peach Basil Jam, and then again last summer when I first made this strawberry lemon cake and basil buttercream frosting. The basil just adds a fresh, light flavor to the fruit that instantly reminds you of summer days. And the jars look so pretty full of bright red jam with ribbons of green running through it! When working on this recipe I was using only a quart of berries. I’ve left it in it’s original form, which will yield about three 8oz jars of jam.
This is a fairly easy recipe that comes together quickly. If you’ve never canned or made your own jam before, check out my post on Canning 101 for all the basics you need to know!
- 3 1/4 Cups Strawberries, washed, hulled and mashed. (Aprox. One quart of berries)
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 3 Tablespoons Real Fruit Pectin
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1/2 Cups fresh basil leaves sliced into ribbons
- Prepare your waterbath canner and sterilize jars and lids.
- Wash and hull your strawberries. Cut them into halves and mash them in a large bowl with a potato masher.
- Combine strawberries and lemon juice in a saucepan. Slowly stir in the pectin.
- Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that can't be stirred down.
- Add in the entire amount of sugar and return to a full boil.
- Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and skip foam.
- Ladle hot jam into sterilized canning jars, clean the rims, center a lid on each jar and secure with a band.
- Process in your waterbath canner for ten minutes.
- Allow jars to cool, untouched, for 24 hours. Check seals on lids before storing (center of lid should not pop up and down)
What’s your favorite way to use homemade jam?