Sunshine strawberry oven jam comes to us from the Small Batch Preserving book. The “sunshine” comes in as reference to the throwback process of placing the cooked berries out in the sun for several days to evaporate the liquid and thicken up the jam. I can only imagine the bugs, primarily bees in my yard, that would be highly interested in supervising the process. Good thing you can use the oven instead, with convection as a bonus option. Feel free to use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar in the recipe. However, the balsamic brightens up the flavor (perhaps the new “sunshine”?) but is not overpowering in this recipe’s ratio. I was able to make this 100% organic – look for quality berries, organic cane sugar and I even found some certified organic vinegar.
- 8 cups of halved or quartered (if larger) strawberries
- 4 cups sugar
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (get a good one) or lemon juice.
- Combine berries and sugar in a large sauce or preserving pan. Let them sit and mingle (aka macerate) for 2 hours. Wander by and stir it every so often.
- Add vinegar and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and boil gently for about 10 minutes, stirring.
- Pour into two 13×9 or jelly roll pans and place in oven at 170 F. If you can go lower in temperature, do it! I lined my pans with parchment paper for easier clean up. Bake until the mixture thickens up and forms a gel (use your standard preserving tests). This will take about 10 hours with a regular oven and 3-4 hours with convection. Do not try to cram it all in one pan…… trust me. Stir every so often.
- Ladle into prepared glass jars ( ½ inch headspace, hot, sterilized, ready to go) and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. You could also freeze or eat it all in one sitting.
- Makes about 4 cups. I left my berries in larger pieces and did not crush or blend them up. The berries will break down and spread, despite being whole. I also found that as I filled the jars, I wanted to put more fruit in and less liquid…. So I did. I reserved the remaining liquid and am using it as syrup.
- You can add fresh herbs to the jars before processing. Mint, basil or thyme would be delightful.
Serve on a spoon, yogurt, ice cream, bread or cheesecake.
Other Strawberry Recipes: