My starting point for this version was a mash-up of bits of Paul Virant's recipe for Dehydrated Strawberry Jam from his cookbook The Preservation Kitchen, and Christine Ferber's basic fresh strawberry jam.
Mr. Virant uses homemade green apple pectin and guess what I didn't have? I could have added 5 teaspoons of powdered pectin instead, but I thought I could slide through with Ms. Ferber's recipe that relies on just strawberry, sugar and lemon. I wanted to use fresh strawberries but swipe the technique of dehydrating strawberries from Mr. Virant to add a hit of super-strawberry flavor.
I settled on half fresh strawberries and half dehydrated. I discuss dehydrating strawberries in more detail here. Dehydrating the strawberries takes time and adds another layer of work, but delivers on giant strawberry flavor. If you want a strawberry explosion in your mouth, this is the way to go.
SUMMARY, Jam #3:
Time: 3 days, most of that hands-off
Volume of berries: 3 pounds
Volume of Product: 5, 1/2 pint jars, plus some extra
Flavor: Intensely fresh and fruity strawberry. This doesn't just scream strawberry, this takes a giant strawberry-shaped club and knocks you over the top of the head with it.
Color: Red. Strawberry red.
Set: Softly set. Spoonable, not spreadable.
Thoughts: Holy wow, if you're looking for the meaning of strawberry in a jar, you just found it.
Skip to part 4.
Dehydrated Strawberry Jam.
Makes 5, 1/2 pint jars. Yields may vary depending on produce.
3 1/4 pounds strawberries to yield 3 pounds stemmed (1.5 kg to yield about 1.4 kg)
4 cups white sugar (760 g, at 190 g per cup)
1 lemon, juiced
You will also need a food dehydrator or low oven, a large non-reactive glass or metal bowl, a large pot and a strainer, plus 4-5 sterilized 1/2 pint canning jars, lids and bands.
Gently rinse the strawberries and allow to air dry. Remove the stem and hull from each berry. Quarter berries larger than 1 1/2 inches (ca. 4 cm), and halve berries larger than 3/4 inch (2 cm). For berries smaller than 1/2 inch (1.25 cm), leave whole.
Take half of the berries (1.5 lbs or 0.7 kg) and arrange cut sides up on dehydrator racks or cookie sheets lined with nonstick paper. Set the dehydrator or oven to 135 degrees F, and dry the strawberries until they have shrunk to about half their original size but are still pliable - this will take about 8 hours in a dehydrator and 4 in an oven.
Take the remaining 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg) of strawberries and mix with the sugar (4 cups or 850 g) and lemon juice. Leave to macerate for 12 hours or overnight. If it is cool, you can leave them on the counter. If it is warm, refrigerate.
Pour the now juicy strawberry-sugar mixture into a large pot and add the dehydrated strawberries. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for a minute. Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then carefully pour into a large heat-proof bowl and refrigerate overnight. When cold, cover with a sheet of waxed paper, making sure that the berries are all fully submerged in the juice. The berries can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days at this stage.
Strain the strawberry syrup from the strawberry solids and transfer the syrup to a large pot. Bring to a boil and continue to boil until the syrup reaches 221 degrees F. This will happen very fast, within 5 to 10 minutes. Add the strawberries back in and bring back to a boil. Continue boiling until the jam reaches 221 degrees F again, which will take 5 minutes or less.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
Fill up the canning jars according to proper canning protocols, making sure that the strawberries are distributed evenly. Process according to your favorite method.
Store in a cool, dark place. Lasts up to year.