STRAWBERRY JAM.

There is a wonderful indoor food market in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood called the West Side Markets. It is one of my favorite discoveries since we moved to Cleveland. It is a beautiful old building that sells wonderful meats, fish, cheese, handmade pasta, handmade pierogies, bratwursts, breads, desserts, candy, produce and much more.

We went to the market around closing time on a Monday evening. I could not pass up this deal – an entire flat of strawberries for only $5!

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I’ve had my eye on Ina Garten’s Strawberry Jam since I first looked through the “Back to Basics” cookbook. The recipe was so simple to follow and the result was wonderful. I’m not sure I will be able to buy store bought jam again…

Strawberry Jam.

Ingredients

3 pints fresh strawberries
3 cups superfine sugar
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and small-diced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Directions

Place the strawberries in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and hull the strawberries. Cut the larger berries in half or quarters and leave the small berries whole. Place the strawberries in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot such as heavy Dutch oven and toss them with the sugar and orange-flavored liqueur.

Bring the berry mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add the apple and blueberries and continue to keep the mixture at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. This should take 25 to 35 minutes. Skim and discard any foam that rises to the top. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then store covered in the refrigerator. It will keep refrigerated for at least 2 weeks. To keep the jam longer, pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved

Here are the strawberries just added to the stock pot to cook. The mixture is simple: strawberries, water and sugar.

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As the berries cook, they become jammy and a bit of foam develops.  The key with this jam is the temperature. Cook until it reaches exactly 220 degress on a candy thermometer. The addition of blueberries and granny smith apple give it a wonderful texture and flavor.

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And the final result. I absolutely love the color! I packaged the jam in mason jars and printed homemade labels. It made for a perfect gift! I forgot to take a photo before I gave it all away as gifts.

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