Inspired by a trip to Chiles Orchard in Crozet to harvest ripe strawberries.
2 ½ pounds perfectly ripe strawberries
4 C. sugar
1 lemon, juice of
Rinse the strawberries and pat them dry. Hull them, and roughly chop into large chunks.
Place them into a bowl and toss them with the sugar and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and let them macerate overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, bring this mixture to a simmer in a heavy pot. Once simmering, remove from heat- place back in the bowl, cover again, and refrigerate overnight again.
On the third day, strain the syrup from the berries. Bring the syrup to a boil in a heavy pot. Skim the foam that collects on the top, and continue cooking on med-high heat until you reach a temperature of 221 F on a candy thermometer.
Once temp is reached, add the strawberries. Return to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, skimming as needed. Stir gently. The strawberries will look translucent.
Ladle the hot jam into sterilized jars (wash jars with soap and water, and place in a 225 F oven for 5 minutes- take them out just before you’re ready to fill them). Fill ¼” from the top, and screw the lids on snugly (not as tight as possible) while jam is still hot. Set aside to cool completely. Enjoy spread on toast, stirred into yogurt, or spooned over ice cream.