Gluten Free Strawberry Jam Recipe
Many summers ago I woke up with an almost overwhelming urge to connect with the brave frontier women who came before me by taking perfectly sun ripened fruit and turning it into jam thus preserving the bounty of the harvest for the long hard winter to come.
I set off early, purchasing enormous pots, sterilizing equipment, cute jars and flats of peaches. Happy with my haul (and poorer by about $250.00) I got to work. I blanched, peeled and pitted. I washed and sterilized. I boiled, simmered and stirred, all the while humming a wordless tune I was certain my fore-mothers had hummed many moons ago.
And then it happened! What can only be described as an apocalyptic catastrophe turned my peaceful afternoon into a scene so horrendous it would surely be rated NC-17 (for violence) if life were rated the way movies are. Jars started exploding, shooting out shards of glass covered with sticky, icky goo everywhere. The shards embedded themselves into the cabinets, walls and ceiling dropping fat splatters of peachy tar over every surface.
I plucked goopy glass from my hair, arms and feet. I washed and scrubbed and mopped. I cursed my fore-mothers so loudly and vehemently it would have brought a blush to Joe Pesci’s face.
At the end of a very long, arduous day I surveyed the fruits of my labor. I had one $250.00 jar of slightly brownish, uncongealed peach jam, a spotless kitchen and a body covered with Hello Kitty Band-Aids.
It was then that I realized that those brave frontier women who came before me didn’t have a choice. They had to preserve the fruits of the harvest lest they starve during the cold hard winters. I also realized I lived in California where the winters are anything but cold and hard, that I have a damn car and can go to the damn store and buy some damn jam.
That was the end of my jam making until recently. I got swept away by the gorgeous strawberries at the market selling for a pittance and brought home far more than I could consume before they went bad. What to do?
I decided I would make jam again. But this time on my terms. Forget those damn frontier women. So I came up with what is possibly the easiest jam known to man (and certainly to those fore-mothers of mine). It also happens to be granulated sugar and pectin free jam. And yes, of course, it is gluten free as well.
So if you like slaving like a dog for your jam, then skip this recipe. If on the other hand you want to revel in luscious jam that is ridiculously easy, then by all means read on.
Gluten Free Strawberry Jam Recipe
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, rinsed and halved
½ cup agave nectar
Combine strawberries and agave in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the mixture continues to boil gently. Stir the mixture a few times while cooking to prevent sticking or scorching and mash the berries a few times, a potato masher works well for this or you can use the back of a spoon.
Continue cooking for 25 minutes or until the berries have broken down and the mixture is very thick. Cool to room temperature. Mixture will thicken and gel up as it cools.
Store in a clean jar for up to a week.
This Gluten Free Strawberry Jam recipe makes 1 cup
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