Monday, June 10, 2013

Strawberry-Hibiscus Jam

Strawberry-Hibiscus Jam

Who doesn't love a good berry jam? The fact of the matter is that good jam - straightforward blueberry, blackberry, strawberry - can be purchased. I must admit that I have never made homemade jam.  You see, I am too busy giving my money to Bonne Maman.  

But then I came across a berry jam recipe with a different twist. Strawberry-hibiscus jam. A jam that I could not {and cannot} readily purchase. The only way to satisfy my curiosity about this unique blend of ingredients - a mix of sweet, floral, tart and citrus flavors - was to get in the kitchen and make it myself.  

And that is what I did this morning. Why I thought making jam meant hours in the kitchen is beyond me. I now realize it is a quick and easy process and making a small batch alleviates the need to complicate matters with that dreaded c word {canning}. And I now realize that making completely unique jams may become a new addiction. 

This recipe turned out a jam that is like none I have ever tasted before. The sweetness that we all expect from strawberry jam is there but it is balanced with a citrusy-tartness that gives this jam an edge. It is the perfect accompaniment for warm buttered toast. It would also be divine on a shortbread cookie with a little Mascarpone. 

Strawberry-Hibiscus Jam

1/2 c boiling water
2 T loose hibiscus tea
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
juice and zest from 1small/medium lime
3 c coarsely chopped strawberries {seek out fresh, sweet, juicy strawberries - I used Harry's Berries}

In a small bowl combine water and tea leaves. Let steep for 5 minutes and then pour through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Reserve liquid and discard solids. Add the sugar, salt and pepper and stir to dissolve. Add the lime juice and zest and stir.

In a saucepan, combine strawberries and hibiscus mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium - low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries break down and the mixture has turned to a thick jam-like consistency. The recipe says about 1.5 hours but my batch was done in less than an hour.

Store in an airtight container or glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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Source: Tasting Table

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