The last of the everbearing strawberries and groundcherries from the market find love as a sweet jam.
It’s been warm here, the kind of warm that makes you want to take long bike rides through the trail system that runs just east of your house, stopping to enjoy the view of the lakes and swamps in the area. Swamps are magical.
The sun has been shining. Blaring, really. It’s like August in October at the moment, but with golden leaves on the trees and pumpkins on the menu for dinner.
Rather than enjoy the beauty, however, I’ve been swimming in work, holed up, sleeping far too little, and most days – well, most days if I shower it’s well after lunchtime and sometimes just before dinner. (Dinner that my husband makes, thankyouverymuch.)
Our warm streak looks as if it is coming to an end by the end of the weekend, though. One last push to help turn some of those green tomatoes that have been hanging on the vine, one last hurrah before the freeze. I’m loving every minute of it, but this weekend I’m bound and determined to actually enjoy it, starting with taking my family on that bike ride I mentioned.
Groundcherries are related to tomatillos. The small, sweet fruit grows on a bush-like plant and are surrounded by a papery husk and look like little lanterns hanging before they’re harvested. I first had them when I was young, forgetting about them and rediscovering them again at the market while in college. They’re great for adding complexity to jams, making their own jelly or adding a bit of sweetness to salsas.
Enjoy your weekend!
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon butter
3 tablespoons no/low-sugar pectin (read label for different brand amounts)
3/4 cup raw honey (can also use organic cane sugar)
Add groundcherries, strawberries, water and lemon juice to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until fruit starts to break down. Slowly stir in butter until melted and pectin. Increase heat to high and bring to a full boil. use a potato masher to mash the fruit bits up farther.
Stir in the honey or sugar and return the mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Ladle jam into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe down the rims and top with lids. Either cool to room temperature and refrigerate or immediately process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from the water bath to a dry, clean towel and allow to cool. Check for proper seal on all jars. Any that did not seal should be refrigerated.
Makes 3-4 8-ounce jars of jam.