You can still find Louisiana strawberries at farmers markets and local grocers, so scoop some up to make this Strawberry Basil Jam.
Adding the herb to jam might sound a little weird, but you really can't taste it. The basil does, however, give the jam a great depth of flavor.
Beth Colvin shared this recipe which she made with a half-flat of strawberries and some fresh basil.
"It yielded a deeply delicious 2½ pints of jam," Beth said, "a brilliant red taste of the summer to come."
Here's a tip to test if your jam has gelled: Put a saucer in the freezer before you start. When your jam has reached 220 F, place a spoonful on the chilled plate. Return the plate to the freezer for 1 to 2 minutes, then check for doneness by tipping the saucer from side to side. If you want a firmer gel, cook for a few minutes longer.
This jam is good on biscuits, but also pairs well with roast pork or chicken.
Strawberry Basil Jam
Makes 2 to 3 pints. Recipe is by Beth Colvin.
½ flat of ripe strawberries, hulled
3 tablespoons no- or low-sugar pectin
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons basil, torn or chopped
3 cups sugar
1. Mash, purée or juice strawberries. Add to a large pot with the pectin, butter and lemon juice.
2. Put the basil in an infuser, like a tea ball, or wrap it in a square of cheesecloth. Add the bundled basil to the strawberries. Stirring occasionally, cook the mixture over medium heat until the boil cannot be stirred down. Skim any foam off with a metal spoon. (The foam is perfectly edible but doesn't look as nice in the finished jar.)
3. Add the sugar all at once. Stir constantly until it reaches a boil that cannot be stirred down. The jam should look glassy and set when put on a cold metal spoon.
4. Remove the basil and discard. Transfer the strawberry mixture to hot, sterilized jars, leaving ½-inch space at top. Wipe the mouths of the jars clean, then seal with canning lids and rings.
5. Process jars in a hot water bath, making sure at least an inch of water remains over the tops of the jars at all times, for 10 minutes. Remove the jars carefully, using canning tongs, and allow them to cool for 24 hours. You may hear a popping sound as each jar cools and the lid suctions to the jar. The lids, once cool, should not pop when touched. If it does, reprocess or refrigerate and eat immediately.