In Pennsylvania the strawberries came in end of April/beginning of May and hung around just long enough for the June sun to shed a little sunlight on them. Florida, on the other hand, has months of strawberries, which makes the jam making process more enjoyable. If Pennsylvania was a strawberry jam sprint, Florida is a a meandering stroll. One week jam, one week off, another week more berries to boil. No hurries. No worries. Plenty of time to linger.
This weekend I lingered over a few pots of strawberry jam. All of the jam I made was super low in sugar–only 15%. And due to the size of my business (very very small) and difficulties getting natural evaporated cane juice, Sabjimata has officially switched to organic evaporated cane juice.
My favorite batches this weekend were the pots of Strawberry Basil Conserve. Because these jams are officially too low in sugar to legally be labeled as jam, you have my guarantee that this stuff is full of the sweetness of fresh strawberries and the earthy herbal warmth of basil. And yes, this combination may strike some as odd. And yes, it may remind you a bit of strawberry pizza. But if you have an Italian bone in your body (or an attraction to Italian bones) this jam will certainly put the ba-da in your bing.
That’s not to say that the Strawberry Vanilla Bean Conserve lacks any attention. Again, low sugar and high fruit equals big yum in a jam jar. Madagascar vanilla bean added in abundance gives this jam strong accents of pure vanilla flavor. Extra-long Madagascar vanilla beans, which have been on the vine the longest–allowing for the deepest vanilla flavor to develop, were scraped and the pods and beans added to the boiling berries. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, right behind saffron (Sabjimata’s favorite flavor). There is no skimping on this jam. Fresh Florida berries, organic evaporated cane juice and lots and lots of real natural vanilla beans speckle this jam.
Both flavors are available in 9.5 ounce and 4 ounce jars from the Sabjimata Store. More strawberry fun is on its way. The season ends in June so please check the store or blog regularly to see what new combinations manifest from the pots of Sabjimata.