This jam recipe was inspired by the fresh tastes of early summer, and took me all of my daughter’s 30-minute nap to make! I have been searching for a recipe that incorporates lemon balm since my herb garden is overflowing, but when I tasted a leaf, I instantly thought of pairing it with strawberry and went for it! When I asked my hubby for feedback he said, “You could sell this. But you shouldn’t, because I want to eat all of it.”
I would highly recommend using very ripe, farm fresh strawberries for this recipe. They have a strong, sweet fragrance and taste that knocked it out of the park! We had some left in our freezer from our strawberry-picking adventure.
Strawberry and Lemon Balm Jam
- 2 cups strawberries, whole
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 heaping cups sugar
- 1 cup of lemon balm leaves, packed
- 1 box pectin or 2 packets gelatin* (see note)
- Place strawberries in a heavy bottomed sauce pot and set to medium heat.
- While strawberries are reducing, wash lemon balm thoroughly in cold water. (A salad spinner makes easy work!) Dump in a heatsafe bowl and add 2 cups of boiling water to the leaves. Let steep for 10 minutes.
- Add the sugar to the strawberries, cooking until a thick jammy consistency forms. Using a stiring spoon, gently break up the strawberries, or, for a less chunky jam, blitz a couple times with an emerision blender.
- Using a strainer, pour the lemon balm tea into the saucepan. Make sure to squeeze the leaves for maximum flavor, then discard.
- Zest and juice the lemon, adding all to the pot.
- Finally, add in the pectin. If using gelatin instead, make sure to sprinkle it into a little cold water to soften for 1 min before adding it to the hot mixture.
- At this point you can simply pour into jars or pressure seal. Store in fridge to cool.
- Serve on toast, biscuits or scones. Or, just eat it from the jar.
* Gelatin vs. Pectin. If you plan to pressure-seal and store this jam for a long time, use pectin! It has a much longer shelf life. I had gelatin on hand and although the jam was pretty runny, it set into a beautiful jam consistency. Do not use the same amount as you would for pectin- in fact use half, unless you want to make jello! I gave one jar to my family, and kept the rest to be used for toast and jam breakfast rolls, so we plan to use it up quickly!