Anyone who has ever bought strawberries in Israel can attest to the sad, short-lived fate of this fruit here. I don’t know what they put on them, or how long it takes them to get from the ground to the market, but something has gone very, very wrong. And maybe I’m just a sucker, but despite knowing that I can’t eat a kilo of strawberries in one day, they always make it onto the grocery list. And at the market I always carry them in a separate bag hanging delicately over my shoulder at the market so they don’t get squashed. I cover them in plastic bags, tupperware, I wash only the amount I want at a given time, and each time I check the fridge in trepidation: HAVE THEY GONE BAD YET?!

But all is not lost. In this process, I’ve perfected how to make strawberry jam, since it really does pain me to think of tossing that many strawberries after one day. So, before you toss yours, consider making a delicious, not-too-sweet rose water scented strawberry jam.

You can omit the rose water and just go for strawberries and candied ginger, omit the ginger and just go for strawberries and rose water or omit both rose water and candied ginger and have just a classical strawberry jam. It’s up to you! This recipe can be halved easily. I use this jam in salad dressings, on top of vanilla ice cream and toast!

What you need:

4 cups of strawberries; stemmed and diced

1 c sugar

2 tblsp lemon juice

1-3 drops of pure rose water (or 1 tblsp of the store bought kind that is mixed with water); optional, as noted above

1 tblsp candied ginger; finely diced (optional)

How to do it:

First place a small plate into the freezer. We will be using it in about 5-8 minutes to test if the jam is ready.

Place all the ingredients into a large frying pan or pot, continuously stirring. Your mixture will look like this for the first five minutes or so.

After five minutes or so, the mixture should begin to thicken a little and foam will begin to form at the top. Spoon out the foam as best you can, still continuously stirring. Don’t panic if you can’t remove all the foam out.

After about eight minutes or when the jam begins to look like it has thickened, remove the plate from the freezer and spoon some of the jam onto the plate. If it is runny and separates like this, the jam is not ready yet.

After ten minutes or so, your jam should be like a thick sauce like this.

The jam shouldn’t be runny and should want to stick to itself as it slides down the plate. It’s ready! Remove from the heat and let the jam sit for about 20 minutes.

It will thicken even more after 20 minutes of sitting.


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