Making your own jam is a great way to use your slow cooker in the summer. It’s also a delicious way to use up overripe fruit.
Makes About Four 8-pints
2 pounds of strawberries
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar
Wash the strawberries and drain in a colander. Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut in half. With a small, sharp knife, halve the vanilla bean lengthwise. Add strawberries and vanilla halves to a slow cooker along with the lemon juice and sugar. Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.
Uncover the slow cooker and stir the jam. Continue cooking, uncovered, on low for an additional 2–3 hours or until the jam has thickened, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if it is a little runny; it will get thicker as it cools. If you want a smoother consistency, use a potato masher to break up the fruit.
Discard the vanilla bean and ladle the jam into four 1-cup plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. Allow to cool, uncovered, then cover and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Jam will last 3 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 1 year in the freezer.
Try swirling a spoonful of jam with plain Greek yogurt for breakfast or dessert.
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