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This is not the jelly that comes to mind when you’ve got a craving for a PB&J.  You might even want to put a PG13 rating on it, cause your kids probably wont like it!  It is, however, totally delicious poured over a brick of cream cheese and served with crackers or crostini.  If you really want to dress it up, mix 8 oz. of softened cream cheese with 1 tbsp minced fresh basil and 1 tsp lime juice.  Scoop into a bowl with an ice cream scoop, then pour the jam around it.  The basil and lime compliment the strawberry, so well!

Pepper jams are available in a wide variety of flavor combinations.  I was recently asked about a recipe for a peach and jalapeño jam.  Which sounds like a great combo to me! (but I was just given some beautiful homegrown serrano peppers, and decided they would pair well with strawberry.)  Stay tuned for the peach jalapeño and maybe a raspberry chipotle recipe!  I could probably go on and on developing flavor combos!

Strawberry Serrano Jam

2 lbs. strawberries

juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)

1 cup sugar

1 package fruit pectin

3 serrano peppers

Hull the strawberries then chop them into small pieces.  Bring the strawberries and lemon juice to a boil, then turn to simmer.  Allow to cook on simmer for 30 minutes.  Finely mince the serranos (don’t throw the seeds out!  they give a nice spicy flavor) and stir into the simmering pot along with the sugar.  Cook for about another 10 minutes.  Add the package of pectin and bring it back to a boil, while stirring.  Allow to boil for just a minute or so.  Then pour into jelly jars and allow to cool overnight with the lids off.  (They will thicken up as they cool.)  Then store in the refrigerator.

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