About a week ago I shared with you a New Baker Hack on how to create your own vanilla-infused sugar. This week, I will show you how to use it to make your very own vanilla-infused strawberry jam! And I’ll be honest—when you taste it, you may have trouble going back to regular ole strawberry jam. You may find yourself transported to a magnificent vacation destination in the beautiful state of Florida. And not only that, the actual Flo-rida will be your guide! You will stroll the sunny beaches together, jars in hand, while you sing—
oh hot damn
this is my jam
That’s how good this jam is. The full, printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
The thing to remember about jam is that it’s essentially a 1:1 ratio: one part sugar to one part fruit, with an optional squeeze of lemon juice for good measure. You can certainly play with this ratio, but I happen to like my jam thick and easily spreadable. If you’re wondering what I mean by that, imagine you have a jar of jam in front of you. Now turn it upside down. If the jam immediately falls onto the lid, it’s too runny (and you probably didn’t cook it long enough). If it stays put, it’s too thick. If it slowly works it’s way down…that’s the hot spot!
The first thing you’re going to want to do is get your ingredients ready. Here I have my vanilla sugar, lemon wedge, and fresh strawberries that I have hulled and finely chopped. Next, throw 2 or 3 spoons in the freezer. Trust me.
Now, add it all to sauce pot! In addition to the vanilla-infused sugar, feel free to add a dab of vanilla paste or extract. It will really—
pump up the jam
pump it up
while your feet are stompin’
Hey, that’s not Flo-rida. Anyway…
Set the pot over medium heat and stir it occasionally. The strawberries will begin to release their delicious juices and the sugar will melt. It will be vanilla-strawberry heaven in your kitchen!
The next part is a bit trickier. You see, you want the jam bubble for a few minutes. Ideally until it reaches 220°F, 105°C. If you have a thermometer, great! If not, that is where the spoons will come in.
Take a spoon out of the freezer and dip it into the jam mixture. Now wait a minute or two. Did the jam set? If not, keep cooking for a bit longer then try again. You’re really just looking for it to be thick enough to coat the spoon. It will set even further as it cools in the fridge. Once it’s ready, remove it from the heat and wait ten minutes or so before putting it into a container and popping it in the fridge.
Just a reminder, here is the final product. Sweet and juicy. Just look at that shine! Those chunks of strawberries! Not to mention that sweet vanilla bean smell!
As for what you can do with it, the options are endless. I ate some on a white chocolate cranberry scone:
And globbed some over cream cheese for an appetizer.
And even used it to fill my delicious Fairy Galaxy cake.
So give it a try! Then give it a taste. Then throw your hands in the ayer-ay-ayer-ayer.
Until next time <3
- 3/4 cup vanilla sugar
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon juice (optional but encouraged)
- Begin by placing 2 or 3 spoons in the freezer to get them nice and cold.
- Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce pot and set it to medium heat.
- Using a spoon or rubber spatula, gently stir the mixture until all of the sugar has melted.
- Increase the heat slightly until the jam begins to bubble, continuing to stir every so often.
- Test the jam with a thermometer. Once it reaches 220 degrees F, remove it from heat. If using the spoons, dip one into the mixture and wait a minute to see it sets.
- Wait ten minutes before transferring jam into desired container.
- Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. Use on biscuits, cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, toast, donuts, and more!
What I learned:
- Lemon juice is essential to jam making because it helps the pectin (the stuff that helps the jam set) bind together. Good to know!
- The only difference between jam and preserves is that when making preserves you tend to use larger chunks of fruit.
- It is super difficult taking a picture of a jar of jam. Like seriously.
- If your jam never sets, it can still be used as a delicious fruit sauce on ice cream.