For the Food Swap last weekend, I made a batch of strawberry chipotle jam. This was a first for me but it will not be the last time. It's sooo good. I might try using blueberries next time to change things up. I love the sweet and spicy combo.
This is a great recipe for a first time canner. Or someone experienced who just wants to try something new and different as far as flavors go. It's easy peasy lemon squeezy!
I used Mavis's recipe but made a few small changes so here is what I did...
Strawberry Chipotle Jam
* 4 cups whole strawberries (I used frozen)
* 2-3 chipotle peppers (to taste preference)
* 3 cups granulated sugar
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 2 tbls powder pectin (optional)
* Place small dish in freezer to test jam later.
* If your berries are frozen, defrost them so that they aren't rock hard. They can still be frozen but not thumpy berry ice cubes.
* Pour half the berries into the food processor. Pulse until they are pretty well pureed. Some chunks are fine though.
* Slice the other half of the berries in half (if par-frozen you can use kitchen scissors to make this quick and easy).
* Pour the processed berries plus the other half of the halved berries into a heavy bottom pot. I prefer my cast iron pot. It takes longer to heat up but it keeps a much more even heat than anything else and it's harder to (but can be done- ha) to burn things in there as a result. Add sugar, salt and lemon juice. Heat to a boil.
* In the still dirty food processor, add your chipotle peppers. I added three. Pulse until finely chopped. You can do this by hand on a cutting board too but if your processor is already out and dirty, why make more work for yourself?
* Add your peppers to the pot. I added about 2/3 (so 2 of the three peppers) to the pot first and let them incorporate. I then tasted and made the decision to add a dash more (so in the end I likely added 2.3 peppers or just slightly more than two but definitely not three). This will depend on your heat preference. I like some heat but not crazy heat. I also wanted this to be liked by many and not just the occasional few hot heads. So you will just have to decided what you prefer. I thought two was delightful. But that's just me.
* Heat to a raging boil. This means that when boiling, if you take the lid off or stir the pot or add something to the pot, it will not slow the boil. It keeps boiling no matter what.
* Skim off foam as it forms. I reserve this for the cook to enjoy. It tastes great, just looks, well, foamy.
* Once in a raging boil, add pectin. Boil one more minute. (This is OPTIONAL. There is enough pectin in the berries that they don't need it added. However, this means you will need to boil it for 30-40 minutes to reach the point of it being a thick jam consistency. I'm lazy and impatient. So I added pectin. But you can absolutely get away without adding the pectin and instead adding time and patience. Up to you.)
* Test your jam by placing a bit on the dish in the freezer. Let it set for a moment and run your finger through it. If it looks like this, it's ready to go. If not, let it boil for another minute. If it still doesn't look like this, add 1 more tbls of pectin and boil, test, all over again.
* Funnel your jam into prepared, hot, sterilized jars. Boil 10 mins (for me- right at sea level- adjust for your own sea level of course). This means that you don't start timing it until the pot of water and newly filled jars actually comes to a hard boil. Then wait 10 minutes (again...for me at sea level...you need to make sure you process according to your home's elevation level as higher elevations require additional minutes of processing to ensure safety) and carefully remove jars. Set them on a towel to dry and cool down. Don't touch them. Wait for the POP! Once cooled and popped...they are done!
* Freeze the extra chipotle peppers in a small container to use later. I need to look up recipe ideas because I really love the smoky flavor but have never used them at home. Well...until now. If you have favorite chipotle ideas, please share!
* Add fabric and a ribbon to make it a fun gift. Or just open and enjoy on a sandwich, quesadilla or grilled cheese, on pork or chicken, trade at a food swap, or on a block of cream cheese served with crackers.