The past couple of weekends have been spent picking strawberries. Strawberry season is so short. I feel like I must gorge myself on sweet, sun-kissed berries while they are available. Mr. F. was quite obliging--picking the berries while Baby F. and I stood watching. (I find myself quite inadequate to the task of repetitive squatting while carrying a 13 lb chunker with limited head control.) About half of the berries were consumed in their pristine state, the others were turned into strawberry freezer jam.
I came across a new jam recipe which used honey and apple juice instead of sugar. Jam has an obscene amount of sugar in it, even if you use the "less sugar needed" pectin. I was excited to use honey as we have a pretty substantial supply of some local stuff. We made two batches with honey and kept the third traditional with sugar. The honey batch was great! You can definitely taste the honey, but I didn't think it adversely affected the taste at all. I am excited to try it again when we get our cherries. I am sure you could adapt the recipe with whatever fruit you have in season.
Honey Strawberry Freezer Jam
Makes about six 8-10 oz. jars
4 pints of strawberries (about three pounds of berries)
1 cup of apple juice
1/2 cup of water
1 package of No Sugar Needed Pectin (I used Sure Jell)
1 T lemon juice
1 cup of honey
1. Clean and stem berries. Mash one layer of berries at a time in a large bowl until all berries are mashed.
2. In a small saucepan, whisk together apple juice, water, and pectin. Bring to a hard boil and boil for one minute.
3. Add honey and lemon juice to berries and stir well. Add in hot pectin mixture and stir well again to make sure everything is combined.
4. Ladle into clean jars (glass is fine) and screw on lids. Let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to set up and then transfer to the freezer to store.