Strawberry Jam with Kaffir Lime and Vanilla

You know, I have a thing for making jam! Whenever I hear of fruit that is in need of rescuing my mind goes wild with potential jam recipes. I’m cool with the traditional single fruit recipes but, I love to mix it up a bit too.

So, when I came in with a couple of kilos of strawberries recently I thought hmm… what do we have here that might be just a bit different? Well, I almost always have a few vanilla pods in the cupboard but, while I was outside picking a few limes I looked over at the Kaffir Lime tree and had an epiphany… Strawberry Jam with Kaffir Lime and Vanilla. Yeah baby!

Here it is:

Wash the strawberries quickly to get rid of any dust or critters.

Chop the fruit.

Add the sugar and vanilla. Give it a mix and leave it for 10 min.

Add the Kaffir Lime leaves.

Cook for 30 odd minutes then ladle jam into hot jars.

Check out your fancy work.

Ok lick your fingers.

Done!

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I have three rules when it comes to jam:

1. NEVER add water!!

2. Don’t walk away from it!

3. Don’t overcook it!

Jam shouldn’t be a scary thing to cook. It’s actually very easy. You just have to make sure that you are prepared before you start. It shouldn’t be something that you rush to finish. Take it slow, make it with love and you will have people lining up at your front door. You will! Be prepared!

I cooked this for no longer than 30 minutes.

Oh and FYI I’m not a “jam setter”. Frankly I don’t like my jam to be supermarket set. Thanks to Edith for the inspiration. Of course I don’t want my jam to be too runny but I have found that if you focus on setting your jams you will:

  • overcook your jam
  • loose that fresh fruity flavour
  • and if using pectin sachets or pectin sugar you will change the flavour of the jam.

Because we make most things from scratch here we are really sensitive to the taste of many preservatives. Yes, sometimes they are necessary but as far as pectin in your jam is concerned – forgeddaboudit!

My hot tips for this (and many other jams):

Use what you have and adjust the recipe to cater to however much fruit you have. I generally like to make my jam in batches of 3kg but, you have to use what you have and in this case it was 2kg.

I used to use 50/50 fruit to sugar but, I remember Jamie Oliver once saying that you really only need about 300g per kilo of fruit because you are only preserving your fruit for one year and lets face it by this time next year this jam will be long gone and you’ll be ready for a new batch anyway. Well, I tried it and the results were great – I haven’t looked back. Thanks Jamie!

I use lime a lot in my jam but, this is mostly because that is what I have on the tree. If I had lemons that’s what I’d use. Please don’t send yourself broke buying limes when lemons or grapefruit would suffice. Having said that, I am loving the flavour of the lime!

The recipe:

Strawberry Jam with Kaffir Lime and Vanilla

  • 2kg Strawberries
  • 600g sugar
  • 1 Vanilla bean
  • 2 Kaffir Lime leaves
  • the juice of one lime (about 2 tbsp) or use lemon if that’s all you have

Cut your strawberries (or not it’s up to you) and place in a pot.

Cover the strawberries with the sugar. Give them a quick stir and leave them for 10 min. This will release their juice. When they’re ready they will smell divine!

Mash them with a potato masher or with your hands.

Slice the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds and add both the seeds and the bean along with the Kaffir Lime leaves to your pot.

Turn on the heat (med – not too high) and cook for around 30 minutes. Skimming the froth off the top as it cooks. Stir it often and make sure that it doesn’t catch on the bottom. If it starts to catch, turn it right down.

Ladle into sterilized jars while it is hot.

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If you like the sound of that jam check in tomorrow because I have a recipe that will make your Christmas!

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8 responses to this post.

  1. I assume you bought those strawberries – surely 2kg at once isn’t possible, is it? The jam looks simply amazing!

    I notice you are bottling into Fowlers jars – are they a #14? I bought my second-hand Fowlers kit on ebay after your recommendation, and now I’m wondering how to approach the process of gifting preserves – so far I have given a ‘snap on’ cap along with the jar, but it seems a little awkward. I might save the Fowlers jars in future for my own consumption and preserve the gifts in recycled jars with new twist-off lids. Does that sound reasonable to you? Am I missing anything?

    Reply

    • Hi L, you’re so lovely. FYI I read 500m2 religiously too!

      How much happier are the plants after a nice big clean up? You’ll notice new flowers in no time I’m sure. Now I have a 4.5m2 bed of strawberries, don’t ask how many plants that works out to. I just propagate new ones constantly. So, yes 2kg is achievable in the home garden, if you’re keen.

      I do bottle my jam into Fowlers Vacola #14 Jars. They are just for close family and everyone knows that they are like boomerangs. I collect twist top bottles from friends for jam that I give away. It’s a very important part of preserving – sharing that is. The problem is that I usually end up with way too many of the big spaghetti sauce jars that I can’t use. So I say this to you (and to any kind people out there saving jars for me) jam jars are those with a capacity of 250-300ml no greater. Also on the topic of jar etiquette… giving dirty jars is not a friendly activity. From my perspective I would never think to give someone a jar with stickers still on them let alone the previous contents. But, that’s just me!

      So yes giving jars of twist top jam away sounds very sensible =)

      Reply

  2. […] number of plants next season. That might go somewhere towards the number I’ll need to provide 2kg of berries in a single picking, like […]

    Reply

  3. Now thats adventurous – Kaffir Lime and Vanilla Strawberry Jam! Strawberry Jam making – my favorite topic! I did try and make strawberry jam a few years ago and it was just great. Thinking of making some more this time of year.

    Reply

    • Yes, you should have another go at making strawberry jam. I do have another fabulous strawberry jam recipe which is going into the book. I’m glad to hear that you are still going on yours =) xx

      Reply

  4. Posted by Judy on June 7, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    We were fortunate to be given 2kg of strawberries today (amazing for June), found your recipe, made the jam tonight mmmmm…….! magnificent. I can’t wait for next years crop of strawberries, in the meantime I aim to make the jars last, at least a few months I hope. Thank you for great recipe.

    Reply

    • Ah Judy, you’re a treasure! Yes, it sure is amazing to get that kind of quantity at this time of year. I do still have some fruit on but, the millipedes! Grr! If only my chooks would eat them.

      I’m so thrilled to think that my humble little jam is sitting on your shelf. Well, it’s not mine now – it’s ours! Ooh it gives me goose bumps.

      Aunty Mem taught me what her Gram instilled in her: Recipes are not for hoarding. If you share them they won’t die with you!

      Enjoy it and be sure to share it around.

      Love ya Judy! XX Mmmwa mmwa!

      Reply

  5. […] Jodi is also my inspiration for jam making. She convinced me to shun pectin/jamsetta and embrace slightly runny jam. Seeing as I was always forgetting to buy the jamsetta, it was impeding my jam making anyway. Since reading Jodi’s advice I haven’t looked back. […]

    Reply

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