Rosey the Riveter

Friday, May 17, 2013

Strawberry Lemon Balm Jam

Last year, I made some amazing Strawberry Anise Hyssop Jam which inspired me to start using herbs in my jams and jellies.  So today, I finally had the time (and berries) to try a batch of Strawberry Lemon Balm Jam.  The process is the same for the Anise Hyssop, so if you want to make that, feel free (I only use a dozen large leaves of the Anise Hyssop)!  The recipe is adapted from Ball, using less than half the sugar.  It's still plenty sweet but the flavor of the berries really shines.  It makes about 7 half-pint jars.

First, I went out and picked 2 dozen large lemon balm leaves.  I washed them and gave them a whirl since I already had the spinner out, anyway.

Then, I cut them in half.  Which meant I had 48 pieces of leaves.  It's helpful to remember this number.  You'll see why later.
Wash and hull about 8 cups of strawberries.  These beauties are Camarosa's that I picked at a local farm (Hickory Ridge) for $1.25/lb.  Can't beat that, baby!
 Mash them down to about 5 cups.
Add the berries and the lemon balm into a large stock pot, along with 1/4 c lemon juice and 2 tsp calcium water (I use Pomona's Pectin and the calcium water makes it gel.  If you are using traditional pectin, you want to add 3 TBL of the low-sugar kind at this point.)
Bring it all to a boil.  Then add 3 cups of sugar and 2 tsp Pomona's Pectin, stirring well, and bringing it back up to a boil.
 Skim off foam if you are so inclined.
Remove from heat and start picking out the pieces of lemon balm.  (This is where it comes in handy to know how many pieces are in there.)  This time off the heat also gives the jam time to start cooling a bit, which reduces the likelihood of 'floating fruit' in your processed jars.
When you've got all the lemon balm out, fill jelly jars and leave 1/4" headspace.  Watch carefully as you're pouring it in if you weren't able to get out all the leaf pieces.  This is your last chance to retrieve them.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, and enjoy!


  1. What a delicious way to use lemon balm!

  2. This looks delicious! I just started a linkup for garden harvest recipes called Eating Inside the Box! It would be awesome if you would share this with us! Please add any other recipes to any fruit/veggie category you'd like! Enjoy the harvest!