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Lovely Strawberry Jam With Elderflowers

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homemade strawberry jam with elderflower

Lovely Strawberry Jam With Elderflowers

Devon No Comments

 

Perhaps those things in nature that appear simultaneously have an affinity for each other. With this strawberry jam with elder flowers, I think they must.

Strawberry season is the unofficial start of summer in my part of the world.  In the average year, the strawberries show their brilliant ruby selves just as the sun starts to make a more regular appearance from behind the grey clouds.  However, this has been remarkably dry and warm spring for rainy ole Oregon, which is both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, the first cutting of hay is put up and the cherry and berry crops are ahead of schedule – on the other hand, it is dusty dry and my cool season crops like kale and lettuce have fallen flat.  Literally.  Like melted.  But when life gives you lemons — or in this case a lovely and abundant strawberry crop – you take advantage of every little bit and make lots of jam.  But ever the kitchen adventurer, this year’s strawberry comes with a twist:  elderflowers. So strawberry jam with elderflowers it is.

elderflower close up

My strawberry patches are dedicated to ever-bearing varieties that allow for frequent small pickings throughout the growing season – ideal for keeping my family is fresh strawberry deliciousness all summer long.  But when I am ready to make a few batches of jam and put up sealed quart bags in the freezer, we drive to a berry farm down the road and get to pickin’…  This year’s haul totaled 50lbs.  But remember we are a huge family of 10.  Fifty pounds won’t go too far!

While picking, my wild crafter’s eye was drawn to a tall thin elder tree in flower and my wheels started turning…  Strawberry jam with elderflowers.  Because why not?  I wanted the two notes of strawberry and elderflower to shine through, so I elected to use a specialty pectin instead of citrus peel or apple to achieve the texture I sought.  I like to use a brand called Pomona’s Pectin, which is available in most grocery stores, that uses calcium to activate the pectin instead of vast quantities of sugar.  This type of pectin allows the user to sweeten to taste, allowing the fruit to be the star of the jam show.  I snipped the tiny florets into the fruit, before starting the cooking process, discarding as much of the stem material as possible.

strawberries in a basket

The result? So delicious.  The ripe strawberry flavor is rich and pronounced, offset by the light floral, almost powdery flavor of the elderflowers. Something in the flavor evokes a texture for me.  Like that of obscenely soft flannel sheets.  This gives me a sense of comfort and ease, of causal luxury.  Because strawberry jam with elder flowers is lovely.  And not like fine china, designer clothes lovely, but like barefoot in the cool grass, laying in a hammock, reading a good novel lovely.  Nothing exotic, just plain old lovely.

Strawberry Jam with Elderflower Recipe

Strawberry Jam with Elderflowers

So soft and lovely, strawberry and elder flowers marry up for this subtle floral jam. If elder flowers are not available, you may omit for a perfect strawberry jam. 
Note: The calcium and directions for the calcium water in this recipe is included in the Pomona's package.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins

Ingredients

  • 10 cups strawberries stems removed, halved
  • 4-5 elder flower umbels
  • 2 cups organic sugar or to taste
  • cup lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons Pomona's Pectin
  • 4 teaspoons calcium chloride water included in Pomona's package

Instructions

  • Place strawberries, elderflowers, lemon juice and calcium water into a heavy bottomed stock pot. Carefully snip individual florets into the fruit, discarding as much stem material as possible.
  • Over medium heat, bring fruit and flower mixture to a simmer stirring frequently.
  • Meanwhile, bring a water bath canner to a simmer, and prepare your jars and lids, and mix sugar and pectin into a separate bowl.When the fruit comes to a steady simmer, stir in the sugar and pectin. 
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes until dissolved.
  • Ladle into sterilized half pint jars, leaving 1/4" head space. Wipe rims, and place on prepared lids and rings, screwing on finger tight. 
  • Process in a boiling water bath, covered by at least 1" of water for 10 minutes.
  • Remove processed jars from canner and allow to cool completely. Check for seal and then loosen or remove rings for storage.

Elderflower Strawberry Jam

Devon

Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of NittyGrittyLife.com can be seen at LearningHerbs.com, GrowForageCookFerment.com, AttainableSustainable.net, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

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About Me

About Me

Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More

Devon

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