Dad’s Strawberry-Kiwi Jam
If you asked me to describe jam I would probably say something like this: Jam is a delectable, mouthwatering, tasty, appetizing, flavorful, luscious, toothsome, yummy, lip smacking, finger-licking, give-me-more-please treat. It is perfect for so many foods. Crepes beg to be filled with your favorite flavor. Cheese and crackers deserve a special jam compliment. What combines with peanut or almond butter to make the best sandwich known to man? You bet, it’s jam–although I guess we call it jelly in that case. Smothered on french toast, filling the airy holes of english muffins, dripping from a freshly toasted slice of bread or stuck to your fingers, there is no where jam doesn’t belong.
Ok. There are probably quite a few places jam doesn’t belong, but I’m sure those are few and far between. Growing up as a kid, there were few things I didn’t try dousing under a thick, delicious layer of jam. For me, it was always strawberry. For my brother, grape–to this day a choice I do not understand. So, when my father told me that he would be making a large batch of strawberry-kiwi jam, I knew I had to get myself a few jars. Boy oh boy am I glad I did! I knew strawberry was the perfect jam; I had no idea jam made with strawberry and kiwi could be so much better. It is perfectly sweet with just a hint of that scrumptious tartness. It’s… well, it’s crazy delicious. In fact, in the process of shooting the pictures for this post, I managed to eat a few slices of bread with the delicious jam spread bountifully over each. And then I started finding excuses to “accidently” stick my fingers in some. Woops. Guess I have to lick that off before I pick up my camera again.
Click the jump for the recipe for this delicious treat. It is much easier than you may think. And now that summer is just about here, it’s the perfect time to start jarring your own jam.
I’ve made jam before, a few times. When you’re patient with it, it is hard to mess up. Making this jam is just like making any other jam. The ingredients are the same. The steps are the same. The result is, well so much better than the typical one-fruit jam. Like any jam, you’ll want to be careful with measurements and timing. Minor adjustments to either can quickly lead to a jam that is not so jammy and more syrupy or rock candy-like. I suggest reading through the recipe and steps one or even twice before starting it. I’ve also linked to a few posts about making your own jam. They are filled with helpful tips and useful information, so check them out.
This recipe will yield quite a bit of jam. About 8, 16 oz jars. Feel free to cut the recipe in half. Just watch the jam closely as it boils because it may not take as long.
2 1/2 lbs strawberries, hulled & crushed* (about 7 cups)
1 1/2 lbs kiwis, peeled & crushed* (about 4 cups)
2, 1 3/4 oz packets powdered pectin
1 tablespoon crystalized ginger, minced
Rind from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon butter
11 cups sugar
*You can mash the fruit in a large bowl with a masher or you can throw them in a blender or food process and process just a bit.
Step One: Put all of the ingredients except the sugar in a large pot. I mean large (at least twice the volume of the ingredients).
Step Two: Bring to a hard boil, stirring constantly.
Step Three: Add the sugar and bring back to a full rolling boil. Boil until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring constantly.
Step Four: Boil for another minute stirring constantly.
Step Five: Pour the jam into the sterile jars (info on this below). Leave at least a 1/4 space at the top. Seal the jars using sterile, unused lids.
Step Six: If you plan to keep the jars for winter or up to a year, make sure you boil the filled & sealed jar for ten minutes. The jars must be completely covered by the boiling water.
Step Seven: Remove the jars and allow to cool to room temperature.
You may skip step six and seven and keep jars in the refrigerator if you plan to eat the jam within a few weeks. After you open a jar make sure you keep it in the refrigerator.
Enjoy this jam on just about anything! My personal favorite is spread over freshly toasted bread. Multi-grain loafs, french bread, sour dough and english muffins to name a few. Just be aware. This stuff won’t last long!
Check out these sites on how to properly preserve jam. There is a lot of information out there and they can say it better than I can:
WikiHow has a comprehensive post on making jam.
Doing a quick google search online will set you up with numerous sites dedicated to making jam. Many look like they were designed by my grandma in 1994, but they have some great information none the less. They were most likely created by people who have been making jam for a long time. It is worth taking a look.