Jam on It
Let’s face it…canning is hot…as in very popular (again), and also in terms of temperature. It can sure heat up a kitchen. And it requires an investment of time and equipment that you might not be willing to commit. Here then is the perfect solution. No water bath! This is a perfect recipe for those like me that want to “play” retro domestic canning goddess but simply don’t have the time or patience or equipment for the whole big production of canning. And I don’t have any desire to store a lot of jelly. Like all of my favorite recipes, this one is endlessly adaptable and forgiving. Most importantly, it is delicious. But it’s not just the speed and ease that make this a great jam. Note that there is no pectin involved. Using the wide pan helps speed up the jelling process. With this short cooking time, you’ll retain the bright colors and full fresh flavors of the fruit. With beautiful strawberries at your farmers markets, there is no point in cooking the berries to death. With this recipe, you’ll make one cup of fresh fruit preserves (perfect for those cute, wide 1/2 pint jars). Because it uses a minimal amount of sugar, you need to store in the fridge and use within two to three weeks. That shouldn’t be a problem!
Strawberry Skillet Jam
3 cups fresh strawberries (can easily substitute mixed berries or pitted stone fruit)
¾ cup - 1 cup sugar (or even a little less)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 small lemon) + 1 teaspoon optional lemon zest
If using zest, first zest, then juice the lemon. In a 10-12 inch skillet, bring fruit, sugar, and lemon juice (and zest) to boil over medium high heat, stirring. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly. Use a potato masher to squash the berries a little. Cook about 5 minutes until thickening quite a bit. Let cool completely, fill jar and refrigerate.