Variations on a Classic

So yeah, we made lots of jam this weekend.  21 lbs of strawberries yielded twice that number of pint jars–in addition to several other strawberry items.   More on that later…

What the heck would a person do with 42 jars of jam, you ask?  Well, we’re still working that one out, but my impulsiveness does get the best of me sometimes.   Anyway, it would be a bummer if I hadn’t experimented w/ new flavors.  Of course, we made several jars of the classic regular strawberry jam, but we also tried 3 other flavors.

Strawberry-Balsamic (which I sadly didn’t photograph b/c I got so excited)
Basically, substitute a good, aged balsamic vinegar for the lemon juice and add a pinch of salt.  I actually doubled the amount of acid since I wanted a stronger flavor.

I added about 4 Tbsp chopped fresh basil to a 4-cup recipe.

Basil joins the normal cast of characters in a phenomenally successful jam experiment!

Only used 1.5 cups of fruit for this one since I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out. Added 1 tsp each of fresh thyme leaves & lemon zest.

Lemon, thyme & Strawberries ready to become jam with their friends, pectin & sugar.

Without a doubt, the most successful flavor was the basil. We’ll certainly be able to use it in savory applications, almost like a chutney. The balsamic is a close second and I see why so many others have made that flavor. The thyme-lemon is good, but a bit too floral so maybe I’ll back off on the amounts.  Next time I get my hands on enough strawberries I think I’ll try lavender and/or vanilla.

What are some flavor combinations you’ve tried or would like to try?

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