Creating seasonal recipes that are inspired by my passion for local, organic foods

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Indian Masala Strawberry Jam

Triple threatI love Indian Masala Chai tea and I've yammered on about making it before. So, what better way to savor the flavors of Masala but in a strawberry jam? Now, this may sound like a very unorthodox combination, but trust me, the resulting flavors are very subtle and they add just enough complexity to the jam without overpowering the strawberry flavor in any way.

Like the other jam recipes on this blog, start with the standard Ball jam recipe (this makes about 11 8-oz jars), this time for strawberry.

Strawberry Jam
5 cups crushed organic strawberries, washed and hulled
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package pectin
7 cups sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest

Sterilize your jars, lids, etc. I'm not going to go into food safety techniques here - if you want more information, study the instructions that come with your pectin package.

Masala Strawberry Jam
Strawberry jam - 1 batch (see recipe above)
1 cup red wine (Pinot Noir or something similar can be used)
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
12 cardamom pods, cut in half
1/4 cup Port wine
additional fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Simmer spices in wine for 20 minutes and strain. This will reduce the wine down to about 1/4 cup. Return to the pot and add in the strawberries, lemon juice and lemon zest. Slowly add the package of pectin. I use a wooden spoon, but you can use any non-reactive implement you like. Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat and then add the sugar.

Bring this mess up to a rolling boil, wherein you can't stir down the boiling action and, most likely, are getting bombarded by spattering molten lava strawberry bits. Boil for one full minute. At the end of cooking, add the Port and more fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

Ladle into hot jars. Seal and hot process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.