there’s been a strawberry glut going on, such that stores and street vendors (even in manhattan) seem to be almost giving them away. i bought too many the other day, couldn’t finish them before traveling overseas, and decided to freeze them for another use. as i was cleaning out my freezer this weekend, i discovered that i had built up a pretty mighty stash of frozen raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in addition to the latest strawberry addition. there was really only one thing to do: make jam! and if i’m going to make jam, i might as well brew up a flavour that i really like and can’t find in stores — hence the earl grey, an ingredient which really seems to enhance to aromatic properties of all sweet goods.
seeing the jam delightfully nestled in a fido clamp jar, i thought it only made sense to display the unctuous delight on a piece from my liberty print collection. yay liberty! yay fido! yay jam!
Earl Grey Mixed Berry Jam
(makes ~1 quart)
|Mixed Berries||900g or ~2 lbs|
|Sugar||600g (using ¾ the amount of sugar to fruit is usually a good rule of thumb to preserve the fruits; however, i like my jam less sweet and can usually get away with using 2/3rds)|
|Lemon Juice||Juice of 1 lemon|
|Earl Grey Loose Tea Leaves||2 tbsp + 1 tbsp|
|Hot Water||1 cup|
- Brew a very strong cup of earl grey tea using 2 tbsp and 1 cup of hot water, and set aside. I let my tea leaves steep in the hot water for 1 hour before straining out the tea leaves.
- Pour berries, sugar and lemon juice into a medium-sized bowl and combine with a wooden spatula. Allow the mixture to macerate overnight in the refrigerator.
- Place a clean plate in the freezer.
- The next day, pour the berry mixture, brewed earl grey tea and 1 tbsp of dry tea leaves into a clean wide bottomed pot. I usually use my 5 quart dutch oven or my copper lined all-clad stock pot.
- Allow the mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring intermittently.
- When the liquid has reduced to half and the bubbles and foam begin to subside, stir more regularly and begin testing for “done-ness.” To do so, take your clean plat out of the freezer, put a small amount of jam on the plate. Return it to the freezer for 1 minute. Take your finger, and push on the jam slightly. If it is done, you will see wrinkles appear on the jam. If it’s not done, it will be liquid and run all over.
- Pour into a clean jar and close the lid. (Sealing in hot jam actually creates an airtight seal. I get a popping sound when I re-open it later on). When cool, store in refrigerator. (I’ve kept my jam in good condition in the fridge for up to 1 year. For longer shelf-stable storage, refer to proper jamming techniques.)