I’d never made jam before, but last year, when I found myself with a number of quarts of delicious berries from the farmer’s market,  I started searching for a recipe that wouldn’t be too difficult.  Fortunately, I ran across this recipe by Ina Garten, AKA The Barefoot Contessa.  It was easy and turned out to be very tasty.  I also love it because besides being easy, you don’t have to have an enormous quantity of fruit.  Three pints of berries is all you need.

I made a number of pints and froze some.  The jam is excellent fresh or thawed.  If you want to, you may can it, (“you can can it” sounds a bit risque), but it’s easier to simply freeze it if you have the space.

Based on recommendations in the comments after the recipe (and personal taste), I cut the sugar from 3 cups to 1 1/2 cups.  If your berries are very juicy, you may need to cook the jam a bit longer.  My batch today, although just as tasty as last year’s batch, is a bit thin.  I just have to spread and eat it more carefully!  I also use orange juice instead of Grand Marnier, because I don’t have any Grand Marnier.

Another recommendation was to use peaches instead of strawberries, raspberries instead of blueberries, and a peach-flavored liqueur.  I made that, too, and it was also very good. Again, I didn’t use the liqueur because I didn’t have any.  Instead, I used some of the juice from the peaches.  Since peaches come into  season after strawberries, you can make jam for a good part of the summer.  And that’s a good thing!!

Easy Strawberry Jam
2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved

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.
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If you’d like to read comments, recommendations, variations, and other thoughts about the recipe, head over to the Food Network site where the recipe is available:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/easy-strawberry-jam-recipe/index.html.\

Ina Garten also has a similar recipe that makes 2 pints and uses only sugar, lemon and strawberries:  http://www.barefootcontessa.com/recipes.aspx?RecipeID=476&S=0.

Summer is the perfect time to do some jammin’!!  Go ahead and jam with your friends, too.

Comments
  1. Hi Janet! I was searching last week for recipes and found this one! There was a video clip of her making it. I didn’t use her recipe, but I plan to with my next batch of jam and I will use half the amount of sugar.

  2. Shira says:

    Sounds fabulous! I haven’t made jam in eons, but just the other day thought it would be a good year to tackle it again. I love anything Ina does – it sounds simple and delicious!

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