I was a little surprised to go through the blog stats recently and discover that the white chocolate raspberry jam is the most viewed post. Don’t get me wrong, it is so incredibly delicious and easy, I just didn’t realize that many people would be interested in a homemade jam. In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up I have another jam for you, chocolate strawberry. After all, chocolate covered strawberries are heavenly!
This jam is a little different from the white chocolate raspberry jam, it has no pectin. I decided to go pectin free so I could reduce the amount of sugar. I still call it a jam, you could also call it a fruit spread since the texture is less firm. Call it what you want, it is delicious on a croissant as the boys taste tested it or on fresh warm homemade bread. It would also be great warmed up on some ice cream.
Ewan is my jam lover. He took a break from biking to sample and approved. He reminds me of Joey in the Friends episode where he is eating jam straight from the jar. Ewan would do that if he knew he could get away with it!
Now it may not be fresh strawberry season, but I used frozen strawberries. They work wonderfully in jam. Whether you buy them frozen or have a stash in the freezer from last summer’s strawberry picking outing go ahead and give it a try. I hope you enjoy this as much as we all did.
2 lbs. strawberries, stems removed
1 c. sugar
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 Tbs. chocolate liqueur
3 pint jars and lids 1 half pint jar, or just leave that jam out for immediate consumption as we did)
Combine the fruit and sugar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours. After the fruit has macerated overnight the sugar should be dissolved the the strawberries released juices.
Prepare the jars by sterilizing them. Place the berries, sugar and all their juices in a large and shallow pan. Shallow works best to allow for the evaporation when not using pectin. Bring the fruit to a simmer over medium heat stirring often. Once the berries are soft, but not yet falling apart, add in the lemon juice and cocoa powder and stir well.
At this point decide on the texture you want. If you like it very chunky go ahead and leave it. You can mash is lightly with a potato masher or completely purée it with an immersion blender, the choice is yours! Once the preserves are slightly glossy, darkened and thickened they may be ready. Place a large spoonful on a cold plate ( from the fridge works best). Run you finger through the middle of the jam. If it does not slide back together or does so very slowly it is ready, if it does cook a little longer and try the plate again. Add the chocolate liqueur and stir.
Start filling the jars, wipe the tops, cover loosely and place in a water bath for 10 minutes. Follow stand water bath canning procedures and you are good to go!
Yields 3 1/2 pints