Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam

I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning (aside from making pancakes) is to get up at the ass-crack and go for fresh pastries.  There is an authentic French bakery in the next town over from us that opens super early and has croissants that rival those in France.  My memories of those croissants from years ago are still good enough to compare to my local croissants.  You never forget a French croissant.

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam

Anyway, when I learned how to eat croissants from the experts themselves back in 1989 – and apparently, there’s a “right” and a “wrong” way – I was taught that you don’t slice them; that you just slathering on whatever it was you were slathering on top of the pastry.  Jam, Nutella…you get the picture.  And it kind of makes sense because have you ever tried to cut a perfectly flaky croissant?  Disaster.

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam

So I felt like I committed a mortal sin when I sliced open a perfectly good croissant for breakfast one morning recently in order to slather on some of this strawberry vanilla bean jam.  But the jam itself was just insane and I really didn’t want to be…dainty with it.  I doubled the surface area of that croissant onto which to slather the jam, poured myself a cup of hot coffee and mmm’d my way through breakfast.  I know really good strawberries are still available throughout the summer so take advantage while they are still around and make this strawberry jam.  You can can it or freeze it but either way, you need it.  Croissants or not.

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: about 5 8-oz jars

Canning this jam is actually really easy and I've outlined the instructions below. If you prefer, however, you can freeze the jam in a freezer-safe container instead. Frozen jam will keep for a few months.

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons

Instructions

  1. Prep the strawberries: Add the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds and pod halves to a large, heavy-bottomed non-reactive pot (at least 7 quarts). Stir everything together and let the strawberries macerate for 30 minutes. Place a small plate in the freezer.
  2. Canning Prep: Wash and dry your jars, brand new lids (never reused), and rings. Check the jars for cracks or chips and discard any that are damaged. Add the lids to a small saucepan filled with an inch or two of water. Place the jars in your canning pot, set on top of a rack - not directly on the bottom of the pot - and fill the pot with enough water so that it covers the top of the jars by at least 1 inch. Cover and bring the water to a boil and keep the water boiling while you make the jam.
  3. To make the strawberry vanilla bean jam: Stir the lemon zest and juice into the strawberries. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Begin skimming off the foam with a large stainless steel spoon while the berries cook (discard the foam). If you want to puree the jam, now is the time. Remove the bean pod halves. Either use an immersion blender directly in the pot or transfer half of the strawberries to a blender or food processor (work in batches if necessary) and carefully puree the hot mixture. Continue to boil the mixture until it thickens, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently towards the end to prevent scorching. Skim off more of the foam that may appear while the jam cooks down.
  4. While the jam cooks, bring the water in the small saucepan to a simmer but don't allow it to boil. This will soften the rubber seal around the lids and help them seal better when processed.
  5. Around the 30 minute mark, dot a small amount of the jam onto the frozen plate and return the plate to the freezer for 1 minute. Remove the plate and gently press the jam. If it holds up and wrinkles a little with your touch, it is ready. If it is still loose or runny, continue to cook the jam until it reaches the proper consistency. To help determine if it is finished, the temperature of the jam should be about 220° F.
  6. To can the jam: Turn the heat under the canning pot off. Remove the jars from the canning pot with your canning tongs, draining each well as you remove them. Using a clean canning funnel, ladle the jam into the jars leaving ½-inch of headspace between the top of the jam and top of the jars. Clean the rim of each of the jars with a clean, dry towel and place a hot lid (from the saucepan) onto each jar. Add the rings and tighten just to finger-tight. The jars will be hot so use a kitchen towel to hold the jars while you do this.
  7. Transfer the filled jars to the canning pot rack with the canning tongs, lower the rack, cover, and bring the pot back to a boil. Process the jars for 10 minutes. If you are above sea level, you'll want to check this site for processing times as the times vary with changes in sea level.
  8. Once the jars are finished processing, turn the heat off and remove the jars with the tongs, setting them on a clean, dry towel. Be sure to put them in a spot where you won't have to move them for 24 hours. The lids should begin to seal with a "pop" sound shortly after you remove them from the pot. After 24 hours, remove the rings and lift the jars an inch off of the counter with your fingertips around the edge of the lids to check that the lids have sealed. If any of the lids have not sealed, refrigerate or freeze the jam immediately. The processed and sealed jars will keep for at least a year in a cool, dark space.

Source

source: adapted from Martha Stewart and Food in Jars via Use Real Butter

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/08/strawberry-vanilla-bean-jam/

  • Prep Time: 15min (active) + 30min (inactive) + 30min (canning prep)
  • Cook Time: 30-35min
  • Yield: about 5 8-oz jars

Ingredients

2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
4 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
Zest and juice of 2 lemons

Instructions

  • 01

    Prep the strawberries:  Add the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds and pod halves to a large, heavy-bottomed non-reactive pot (at least 7 quarts).  Stir everything together and let the strawberries macerate for 30 minutes.  Place a small plate in the freezer.

  • 02

    Canning Prep:  Wash and dry your jars, brand new lids (never reused), and rings.  Check the jars for cracks or chips and discard any that are damaged.  Add the lids to a small saucepan filled with an inch or two of water.  Place the jars in your canning pot, set on top of a rack – not directly on the bottom of the pot – and fill the pot with enough water so that it covers the top of the jars by at least 1 inch.  Cover and bring the water to a boil and keep the water boiling while you make the jam.

  • 03

    To make the strawberry vanilla bean jam:  Stir the lemon zest and juice into the strawberries.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.  Begin skimming off the foam with a large stainless steel spoon while the berries cook (discard the foam).  If you want to puree the jam, now is the time.  Remove the bean pod halves.  Either use an immersion blender directly in the pot or transfer half of the strawberries to a blender or food processor (work in batches if necessary) and carefully puree the hot mixture.  Continue to boil the mixture until it thickens, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently towards the end to prevent scorching.  Skim off more of the foam that may appear while the jam cooks down.

  • 04

    While the jam cooks, bring the water in the small saucepan to a simmer but don’t allow it to boil.  This will soften the rubber seal around the lids and help them seal better when processed.

  • 05

    Around the 30 minute mark, dot a small amount of the jam onto the frozen plate and return the plate to the freezer for 1 minute.  Remove the plate and gently press the jam.  If it holds up and wrinkles a little with your touch, it is ready.  If it is still loose or runny, continue to cook the jam until it reaches the proper consistency.  To help determine if it is finished, the temperature of the jam should be about 220° F.

  • 06

    To can the jam:  Turn the heat under the canning pot off.  Remove the jars from the canning pot with your canning tongs, draining each well as you remove them.  Using a clean canning funnel, ladle the jam into the jars leaving ½-inch of headspace between the top of the jam and top of the jars.  Clean the rim of each of the jars with a clean, dry towel and place a hot lid (from the saucepan) onto each jar.  Add the rings and tighten just to finger-tight.  The jars will be hot so use a kitchen towel to hold the jars while you do this.

  • 07

    Transfer the filled jars to the canning pot rack with the canning tongs, lower the rack, cover, and bring the pot back to a boil.  Process the jars for 10 minutes.  If you are above sea level, you’ll want to check this site for processing times as the times vary with changes in sea level.

  • 08

    Once the jars are finished processing, turn the heat off and remove the jars with the tongs, setting them on a clean, dry towel.  Be sure to put them in a spot where you won’t have to move them for 24 hours.  The lids should begin to seal with a “pop” sound shortly after you remove them from the pot.  After 24 hours, remove the rings and lift the jars an inch off of the counter with your fingertips around the edge of the lids to check that the lids have sealed.  If any of the lids have not sealed, refrigerate or freeze the jam immediately.  The processed and sealed jars will keep for at least a year in a cool, dark space.