Morroccan Spiced Strawberry Jam
What could be better to satisfy your cold weather cravings than with a warmly spiced strawberry jam on your favorite crostini, toast or scone?
2 pounds whole Califorrnia strawberries (include a few slightly underripe strawberries)
1 pound stemmed and quartered small California strawberries
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 lemons, ends removed, halved lengthwise and sliced thin, with seeds removed
1/3 pound fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted cumin seed, ground
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Several scrapings of whole nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
Put whole strawberries in a large saucepan. Add both sugars and mash with a potato masher to release juice. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Add lemons and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add a bit of water if necessary to avoid scorching. Add vinegar, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
Simmer briskly, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick, dark and flavorful. Add quartered strawberries. The heat from the strawberry mixture will cook them slightly. Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Cool; stir in orange blossom water, if using.
This jam is great served with fresh goat cheese, crostini or curly cress.
Yield: 6 cups