When I found myself with seven pounds of freshly picked strawberries last weekend, the most obvious choice was to make jam. I’ve always wanted to try homemade jam, but the whole canning process seemed daunting and too time intensive. While I love spending time in the kitchen, I mostly lean toward recipes and processes that err on the side of ease and simplicity. And I remember picking peaches during the Texas summers growing up, and my mom spending a long time in the kitchen afterward cooking down the peaches, sterilizing jars, and stocking the pantry. Remembering that one of the vendors at our farmers’ market sells the most delicious, no-cook refrigerator jams made from sweet local strawberries and raspberries, I dug around to find a similar recipe and adapted it. This is an instant essential in my cooking toolbox — simple, fast and resulting in the freshest strawberry jam ready in just 20 minutes. It can be frozen or kept in your refrigerator for a few weeks (if it even lasts that long!).
2 pounds of strawberries (about 4 cups hulled)
2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1. Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, using a potato masher to break down the strawberries as they cook. Continue cooking about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has disappeared and the jam is thickened.
2. Remove from heat and let cool in the pan. Scoop into glass jars (should fit into 2-8oz Ball jars). Refrigerate for 2-3 weeks or freeze.
3. To serve, spread mascarpone cheese on toast. Spoon strawberry jam on top.
*Recipe adapted from Real Simple.