Sometimes I walk up to the automatic doors of my local Duane Reade. I stop, I look behind me, and when I am absolutely sure nobody is looking, I wave my hand in a circular motion, pretending I’ve magically opened the doors. I walk right through that bad boy with swag and sense of purpose only magical folk possess.
Don’t lie – You do it too. And I don’t know about you, but I do it because – because I’d like to believe with all my heart there is still magic left in the world.
And there is Magic…
Every single day…
Its in the first smile of a newborn baby.
In the waves crashing by your feet.
In the first budding leaves of spring.
In the sun beating down your back and warming you with its sweet caress.
In falling in love and in the very first kiss.
And in turning what is seemingly ordinary, what is considered the “every day” into something extraordinary.
That is what I do with strawberries, at least once every couple weeks – I make magic.
I take fresh strawberries or strawberries past their prime and turn them into a delectable strawberry quick jam with just 5 simple ingredients.
Now don’t be scurred.
Making jam is so easy its like – Well, magic.
The fruit goes into a pot, I add a bit of sugar, some vanilla flava’, a splash of lemon juice, and light it up over my stove.
And that’s when the magic happens. The fruit starts to secrete its deliciously natural juice and your house smells like, WHOA. Heat, time, and a little stirring is all you need for this jam to reduce and thicken.
And before you know it, you have jam that tastes like a true magical experience.
Smooth or chunky, sweet or tart. Go for it.
I’m a chunky, semi-tart sort of chick.
But this is all you.
Your magical moment…
All your own…
Enjoy that jammy, um… Jam…
This refrigerator jam is simple to make with very little prep time and a relatively short cooking time. Feel free to add more or less sugar depending on your personal taste, but be aware the cooking time may be slightly longer. I like to add half a cup of sugar per 1 lb of strawberries so as not to mute the natural flavor of the berries, but you can add as much or as little sugar as you wish!
- Prep Time : 10 minutes
- Cook Time : 30-35 minutes
- Yield : 16 oz
Hull and slice the strawberries. Feel free to leave some strawberries whole once they've been hulled. I leave about half my strawberries whole.
In a large saucepan, combine the sliced strawberries, sugar, vanilla bean halves, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and water. Cook over medium/high heat bringing the mixture to a boil for about 5-7 minutes or so. At this point there should be a decent amount of liquid coming from the strawberries. Continue cooking over medium/high heat stirring every few minutes or so to ensure the mixture does not stick to the pot.
Cook until the liquid has reduced and thickened and the strawberries are very soft, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 or 15 minutes or so. The jam will thicken as it cools. At this point you can either blend it until smooth or leave as is. I like my jam chunky, so I leave as is.
Ladle the jam onto 2, 8oz jars. Seal the jars and allow the jam to come to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator.
Jam will last about 2 weeks.
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