The Boy and I have recently had the good fortune (or possible stupidity, check the rent prices!) of moving across the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco. Moving means we are walking distance to work and biking distance to everything weird and wonderful about San Francisco. It also means being farther from the things we love about the East Bay: Berkeley Bowl, the Albany Bulb and the Lake Merritt Farmer’s Market which was steps from our front door. Luckily for me, I stumbled upon a replacement Farmer’s Market not too far from our new (tiny!) apartment. This market is made up of mostly small Asian and Latino farmers and that means lots of ingredients which were new to me: Cardoons, Daikon the size of a clown shoe, Nopales both raw and cooked, Galangal, Bitter Melon, Taro Root and more citrus varieties than I thought existed. What’s the most interesting ingredient you have ever stumbled upon?
Recently at the Farmer’s Market I spotted Bergamot: the bright yellow, round, lemon-like-citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey Tea it’s je ne sais quoi.
I took one home from the market not really knowing what to do with it. After some research, I decided to make a strawberry jam scented with bergamot. I envisioned myself sitting in the sun drinking Earl Grey Tea and eating scones topped with strawberry-bergamot jam. I am not sure why I thought this is how I would be using my jam considering I rarely drink tea and I can’t remember the last time I had a scone. (I should change that immediately!) Turns out this jam is equally delicious on a PB&J or tossed with fresh strawberries and layered on a biscuit with freshly whipped cream for an insanely good strawberry shortcake.
Strawberry Bergamot Jam
4 quarts of strawberries, either fresh or frozen, hulled and quartered
1.5 cups sugar
3 tablespoons no-sugar needed pectin
zest and juice of 1 bergamot
Once strawberries begin to breakdown, stir sugar-pectin mixture into strawberries.
The strawberries will continue to break down and start looking more jam like. Continue to cook the jam until it reaches a full boil for at least one minute, this is needed to activate the pectin.
Fill jam into clean sanitized jars and freeze or process according to manufacturers instructions.
And in case anyone was wondering…..