On one of our recent date nights, Mr. S. and I attended the California Musical Theatre's production of Miss Saigon. One of my all time favorite musicals, Schönberg and Boublil's Miss Saigon does a phenomenal job of intertwining the threads of romance, heartbreak and the ravages of war to bring about a piece that would make even the most iron-hearted come to tears at the end. Mr. S. had never seen the musical before and ended up enjoying it a lot; however, I was the one who ended up sniffling at the end (despite having seen it before and knowing how it concludes). Anyhow, this Sunday I was at the farmers' market and saw that the strawberry season was coming to a close, I decided to hustle up and buy some to make one last hurrah of jam. When I got home I was listening to my iPod and as I hulled the berries, one of the lilting tunes from Miss Saigon came on and I was inspired to do an Asian flavored jam. I looked and looked but I couldn't find a Vietnamese Strawberry Jam recipe; however, I did remember a Strawberry Jam with Thai Herbs recipe that my friend Katy and I had discussed awhile back from a book called Canning For a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. A quick look turned up the recipe but I noticed that Krissoff's recipe didn't include pectin so I called my local jam-go-to-girl, Jenn, with a few questions...her answer was to combine the original recipe's ingredients with my favorite standard strawberry jam recipe and I'd be all set.
The jam that was yielded turned out absolutely delish and I've dubbed it the-"Miss Saigon Jam." ;) It's currently Mr. S's favorite flavor out of all the jam flavors I've made this season. It definitely has that strawberry sweetness but combined with a refreshing, light undertone that you don't find in a lot of berry jams. It's a keeper!
3 3/4 cups crushed hulled strawberries
4 tbsp lemon juice
7 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch (3ox/85 mL) liquid pectin
2 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tbsp minced mint
1 tbsp minced Thai basil
- Prepare canner, jars & lids.
- In a large, deep, stainless steel pan, combine the berries, herbs, sugar and lemon and bring to a rolling boil, while stirring constantly so that it doesn’t burn. When the boil cannot be stirred down, add the pectin and boil hard, stirring constantly for one minute. (Check jam consistency at this point. Add more pectin/ cook more if needed.) Remove from the heat and skim off the foam.
- Ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars and place the hot seals on top. Screw the band on fingertip-tight.
- Place jars in canner, ensuring that they are covered with water. Bring to a boil and process 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. After 5 minutes remove jars and let cool.