Cherries help give body and extra sweetness to this classic jam. For a variation, use balsamic vinegar, which offers depth of flavor without being overly assertive. A true 14-year-old balsamic is best; younger vinegars will work, but can be very acidic, so don't add too much.
- 8 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 lbs cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
Makes 6 half-pint jars
In a large nonreactive bowl, gently toss together the strawberries, cherries, and sugar. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1–2 hours.
Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids. Place 2 or 3 small plates in the freezer.
Transfer the fruit mixture to a large nonreactive saucepan and add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Use 1 tsp jam and a chilled plate to test if the jam is ready.
Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.
Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Strawberry-Balsamic Jam Variation: Add ¼ cup balsamic vinegar during the last 3-4 minutes of cooking the fruit mixture. Be careful not to overcook it, or the jam will take on a caramelized flavor.
Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Jam Sandwich Cookie recipes reproduced with permission from The Art of Preserving by Rick Field, Lisa Atwood, and Rebecca Courchesne (Weldon Owen, 2012), photographs © France Ruffenach.