When June finally arrives, there is nothing like farm fresh strawberries that we turn into our Farmhouse Strawberry Jam. The warmer the weather, the sweeter the strawberry. Last June we did an experiment, a batch of early Farmhouse Strawberry Jam and a batch of late Farmhouse Strawberry Jam. The early one was lighter in colour and a lot softer in flavor and sweetness. The later batch was darker red and had a full bodied strawberry flavor and was so naturally sweet.
While both are delicious, it depends on how you like your jam. For us, both are welcome, for some they like consistency of one flavor so they only do early or only do late strawberries.
Strawberries in a bowl
Biscuits are a family favorite here and it takes just a few minutes to whip up a quick batch to taste test our jam. I use my grandmother’s stir and roll biscuit dough recipe from the 60’s and I think of her every time I make some.
Farmhouse Strawberry Jam on fresh biscuits
Never turn down a bowl of fresh strawberries!
Bowl of Farm Fresh Strawberries
60 min prep
longer to sit
makes 8-10 half-pint jars
2 quarts fresh hulled strawberries
1 1-3/4oz package powdered pectin
1/2 tsp margarine or butter
7 cups white sugar
Crush berries a cup at a time in a large pot. Stir in pectin and margarine (or butter). Heat on high, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Add sugar all at once. Return to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam.
Ladle at once into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, place lids. Process in a boiling water canning bath for 5 minutes. Remove jars: cool
*You will know they are sealing when you hear pops as the jars cool.
Server on biscuits, toast, ice cream… your options are endless, we even just eat it with a spoon!
Years ago, and I mean YEARS ago, like before my kiddos were born years. I often made Martha Stewart’s dried cranberry shortbread hearts. This shortbread was a favorite at home and at the office that I worked at, coworkers would pop by often to see what treats I had and these were always gone in a flash.
I almost always used candied cherries instead of dried cranberries as they give it an extra little something. I also would cut them into hearts, but hated that I lost cookies with the trimmings, so I started to cut them into squares. Then one day I had some mini chocolate chips to use up and thought, why not? Then I cut them into rectangles instead of squares.
A few weeks ago, I wanted some cookies for a workshop I was hosting, but I didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. I remembered Martha’s Shortbread and that I could whip them up in minutes. Now I can barely keep them in the house, Hubby sneaks a few, the kiddos sneak a few, then all of a sudden the tin is empty. I throw together another batch, changing it up slightly and poof! Those are gone too! Thank you Martha Stewart, for giving us quick and easy shortbread for all to enjoy!
1 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries, or candied cherries, or mini chocolate chips
preheat oven to 325.
Combine butter, icing sugar, vanilla, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
Add cranberries, cherries, or chocolate chips
Press batter evenly into 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan. Bake until just turning golden, about 20 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack until cool to the touch, about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and turn shortbread out onto a cutting board. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut into hearts or cut with a knife into squares or rectangles.
We seem to enjoy these brownies far more than many other treats, mostly because they are so simple to make. All you need is a pot for the stove and a baking pan and you are good to go. We share them with friends often, sending a tray over the barn for the gals working or a tray to the boys at the field when airsoft is in season. We always make extra so we have some left at home by making a double batch. Making a double batch is very easy, just double the brownie ingredients and use a 9×13 cake pan.
The secret to the gooeyness, which is the essence of the Farmhouse Brownie, is that you must stir the eggs, sugar and vanilla into the melted butter and chocolate very well. If you don’t, the brownies turn out tasty, but more dense and not as gooey. You know it is just right, when the batter has an elastic consistency and wipes clean from the side of the saucepan. Once this happens you are ready for the flour.
24 servings Ingredients:
1/2 c butter
2oz unsweetened chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Allow to cool a little, you don’t want it too hot when you add the eggs.
Add vanilla, sugar and eggs. Stir until well combined.
Add flour and mix well.
Pour batter into greased pan. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
We cut these into about 1″ squares to make them bite-sized, not that you can’t make them bigger, but this way you are enjoying just a bite and they tend to last longer. You can ice these with your favorite chocolate icing, however, we prefer them plain. Serve with a glass of milk, vanilla ice cream or all on their own.
Which ever way you decide to enjoy them, just make sure you include a friend or two to share with.