Strawberry Elderflower Pectin-Free Jam

Strawberry Elderflower Pectin-Free Jam
Making the perfect Strawberry Elderflower Pectin-Free Jam has been a fun project for me this spring.  Strawberries are in season and the You-Pick fields are full of people (me included!) bent over in search of the perfect specimens, filling up white buckets full of the luscious juicy red fruit.  I've discovered that the flavors of strawberry and elderflower play really well together, and as I'm really interested in developing a line of pectin-free preserves, creating one with strawberry and elderflower became a bit of an obsession!  I'm happy to report that after 4 attempts I was finally able to make one that is incredibly delicious with a consistency that makes me proud!  You'll need to plan on having about 3 hours, from start to finish, to make this incredible preserve, and you'll find that time very well spent. Elderflower and Strawberries, a delicious combination you'll love.

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and chopped into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 2 cups pure cane sugar
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dried elderflowers
  1. Combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, cover, and allow to macerate for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.  Place the strawberry mixture into a 4 quart heavy bottomed sauce pan and place over medium low heat.  Cover with a lid and allow the strawberry mixture to come to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally.  Watch the strawberries carefully at this point as the mixture will foam and boil over if the lid is tight fitting.  When the mixture foams and begins to boil up, take the lid off and skim off and discard the foam.  Repeat as often as necessary until the mixture quits foaming.
  2. Place 2 small saucers in the freezer; you want them good and cold for testing your jam set.
  3. Allow the strawberry mixture to gently boil for 30 minutes, then add the elderflowers.  Stir the mixture and watch for additional foaming.  Continue cooking for another 25 to 30 minutes over medium low heat.
  4. At the 50 minute mark begin testing your strawberry elderflower jam by taking one of your saucers out of the freezer and spooning a small amount of jam on to the saucer.  Return the saucer to the freezer for about 3 minutes, take the saucer back out of the freezer and test the jam by running a finger tip over it.  It should drag with your finger, wrinkle slightly around the edges, and hold the shape created by pulling the jam with your fingertip.  The mixture will also coat the back of a spoon when it is ready.  The jam will set considerably more when cool, too, so you are not looking for a finished set with this want to see the jam hold its shape; either on the back of a spoon or using the cold plate test.  If the mixture is still too loose, clean the plate and return it to the freezer, and test again in 5 minutes.  I have 2 plates that I rotate through this process so I always have a clean cold plate ready for testing my jam set.
  5. Have 3 to 4 sterilized 1/2 pint jars  (boil the jars and lids in water for 10 minutes) ready to go.  Place the strawberry elderflower hot jam in the sterile jars, cover with canning jar lids and screw down tightly.  Turn the jars over for 10 seconds each and then right the jars.  At this point you can either can the jam (Step by Step Instructions for Water Bath Canning), or place them in the fridge for keeping.
  6. WARNING:  Your home is going to be filled with the amazing aroma of strawberries and elderflowers ( a heady scent indeed!), and you will find this strawberry elderflower jam irresistible!

How to Pick Elderflowers

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