My time in Brooklyn is down to single digit days. I seem to be walking in an alternate universe. Everything seems familiar, yet foreign. It’s in these moments that I feel greater confidence in the change we’re about to make. The conveniences of the city no longer outweigh the cravings of my mind and heart.
I’ve been trying my best to dodge the emotional landmines lurking in every closet I sort through. There are so many things I want to share, but my time is running on a deficit this week. I also don’t really have the words to match what I’m processing right now. I didn’t want to let this get in the way of sharing another strawberry recipe with you, though. I do hope you’re not tiring of them yet because I have one or two more in the works. As I baked another pie this week, I felt a bit sentimental, knowing that the brief window on one of my favorite fruits would soon close. Strawberries remind me of hope and renewal. Their scarlet hues and intensely sweet flavor are a welcome after months of eating apples and pears. Strawberries signal the start of many good things to come, much like this next chapter about to unfold.
Strawberry Blood Orange Jam
Music Pairing: Que Sera Sera by Sly & The Family Stone
Makes enough to fill four 1/2 pint jars
After buying a load of strawberries a couple of weeks ago, I found some blood oranges from Italy at the market up the block from my apartment. I wasn’t 100% sure how they’d pair together, since both fruits have distinct flavors. Would one fruit overpower the other? I’m glad I gave it a shot because the resulting jam is by far one of my favorites in all the years I’ve been making jam. In some stroke of magic, the strawberries and oranges manage to shine through without competing for attention. A perfect marriage, in my opinion.
3 blood oranges
2 pints (750 grams) strawberries, stems removed & berries finely chopped
900 grams granulated natural cane sugar (caster or white sugar may be used, too)
Freshly juice of 1/2 lemon
Place a small dish in the freezer. You will need this to test the jam for doneness.
Take 2 of the blood oranges, and thinly slice them. Add them to a deep stock pot. Cut the remaining orange, squeeze the juices into the pot, and discard the skins.
Add the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to the pot with the oranges. It’ll look lost in there, but you’ll need the space when it comes to a boil, trust me.
Give everything a good stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, over high heat. Use a spoon to skim the foam from the top (see footnote on what to do with this). Don’t skip this step, or you’ll end up with a cloudy jam. It’s worth the extra minute or two of your time, I promise.
Once you’re done skimming the foam off, reduce the heat to a vigorous simmer (with bubbles constantly popping to the surface). Let the jam continue to cook until reduced by half, and thickened enough that it generously coats the back of a wooden spoon, 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, you can start testing your jam for doneness. Remove the dish from the freezer, and drizzle a small amount on the plate. Tilt the plate sideways, and if it holds in place without being too runny, then it’s ready. The consistency will still be thin. Don’t worry it will thicken, and set up into a gel, as it cools.
Spoon the hot jam into clean, sterilized jars. Let cool completely before using.
Strawberry Blood Orange Soda Remember all that frothy-looking stuff you skimmed from the top of your jam? Well, chances are you also spooned up some juices with it. Scrape off the frothy layer, and discard it. The remaining liquid is a lovely syrup you can use to mix with seltzer water to make homemade soda. You can also use it in cocktails that call for simple syrup.