Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam


Strawberries & peppers in the pot

Created and contributed by Carey Nash, Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam is a low-sugar jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

Carey, who also created Merry Mulled Merlot Jam, says: “Late summer is great here in Southern California because the strawberries are super sweet while they’re on their way out of season, and the peppers are just starting to hit their early peaks!

“I’ve always made my pepper jam with lemon juice, as opposed to vinegar, mostly because that was how the first recipe I used was written, but also because there’s no shortage of lemons here, so I always have plenty of frozen juice in the freezer. After some research, it seemed lemon juice and vinegar act/react the same for pepper jam; and people use equal parts acid to pepper in recipes across the board. Knowing that the original Pomona’s recipe calls for vinegar, I used a mix.

“I couldn’t get a decent picture of how beautiful the jam looks in the jar but I did get a good picture of it in the pot.

“FYI: The sweet peppers and strawberries are from my local co-op, the lemon juice is from my friend’s tree, and I grew the jalapenos myself!”

Yield: 6 to 7 cups

Before You Begin: Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam Ingredients

1½ cups chopped strawberries (about 1 pint)
1 cup chopped sweet red peppers (about 3/4 lb or 3 medium bells)
½ to ¾ cup chopped jalapenos, depending on how hot you like it (about 12-15 small peppers)
1½ cups lemon juice
½ cup white vinegar
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons calcium water
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder

Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small saucepan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. While you prepare your jars, wash, finely chop, and measure the strawberries and the peppers. Remove stems, seeds, and white membranes from the peppers before chopping. Use latex gloves when handling the jalapenos. (I used a food processor to chop the peppers and berries so the measurements listed are exact.)

3. Put measured berries and peppers in the pot along with the lemon juice and vinegar. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer covered for 5 minutes.

4. In a separate bowl, thoroughly stir pectin powder into sugar and set aside.

5. After simmering for the 5 minutes, add the calcium water to the jam pot and stir well. Bring the jam to a good boil, then stir in the sugar-pectin mix.

6. Stir vigorously for 1 minute then boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

7. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

Carey’s Serving Suggestions:
Serve with cream cheese and crackers
Spoon onto grilled chicken or shrimp
Try it on a taco (seriously!)
Toss onto steamed vegetables
Mix a dollop into your fruit salad
Eat with a spoon directly from jar

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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3 thoughts on “Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam

    • Hi Rose,
      I checked with Carey, the recipe creator, and this is what she said: “I think as long as there are equal parts acid to peppers, Rose can use lemon, vinegar, or a combination. She can probably also cut the acid quantity down to equal the amount of measured peppers (so a 1:1 ratio). Everything I researched really said equal parts is important. I probably added more to compensate for the addition of strawberries and because I have a ton of lemon juice. No shortage of lemons in SoCal year round!

      Also, the juice doesn’t affect the taste of the jam at all, if that’s a concern. I think it’s just necessary for safe canning of the veggies.

      And from my experience, Lakewood has excellent, high-quality products, so their lemon juice would be fine if she doesn’t have neighbors with lemon trees.”

      Pomona’s speaking here: So if you use 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 cups of chopped peppers you would want to use that amount of acid at a minimum. It could be lemon juice, vinegar, or a combination in whatever proportion you choose. The vinegar should be 5% acidity.

      Lemon juice isn’t actually required for strawberries. They are acid enough on their own. Generally lemon is added to strawberry jam for flavor enhancement.

      • Hi Mary Lou,

        Thank you – and Carey – so much for this detailed answer!

        I just finished the jam – no jewels can compare to a jar of glittering deliciousness – and it looks like it’s going to set beautifully.

        I used 1 cup of lemon juice (the Lakedwood pure stuff) and 1/2 cup of white vinegar, since I used 1 cup of red pepper and 1/2 cup of jalapeños.

        Thank you again. This is the first time I’ve used Pomona’s Pectin, but I’m already waiting for fresh cranberries to hit the store – that Mulled Merlot is calling me!

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