While I'm less of a sweet-heat gal (I'm not usually a fan of hot and spicy things that have sweetness to them, such as wings or sauces), I'm all about sweets that have an added element of heat. In this case, the addition of sriracha chili sauce gives homemade strawberry jam, which is fundamentally delicious on its own, a depth and mystery that takes it to the next level. It also turns it into something more versatile; it is no longer just for PB&Js and toast, it can be used on savory sandwiches or burgers, layered with sharp cheddar cheese, or added to a meat and cheese board. The sriracha heat is like the finisher in this case; you don't necessarily taste it right away, but it lingers and makes you want to keep having another bite. It's the perfect thing to cut through the ridiculous amount of sugar (and little bit of fruit) that is homemade strawberry jam. It is so tasty.
I used to be very intimidated by the idea of making jam, as I've always associated it with a lot of work and a lot of confusion. But after consulting many different jam recipes to get a big-picture feel of the process, I now rest assured that the biggest mistake that might happen is a change in the jam's texture. This is so not a deal breaker for me, because whether the jam is thicker or runnier, it still tastes incredible. So, fear not! Making this jam was truly so enjoyable. I thought I might find it effortful and stressful, like so many baking recipes, but I loved taking the care to make such a delicious, simple, and rustic thing (with one new age touch, of course :)
Strawberry sriracha jam
1 lb strawberries (this is the measurement most grocery store versions seem to use)
1 pint raspberries
3½ cups sugar
1 box Sure-Jell pectin
2½ T Sriracha
1 tsp lemon juice
Hull strawberries, and then slice into quarters. Place them in a mixing bowl along with raspberries. Use a muddler or pastry cutter to crush berries until there aren’t many large hunks of strawberries left. Scrape berries into a large Dutch oven (the mixture, when boiling, rises quite a bit). Add in sugar, and stir to incorporate. Add in Sure-Jell pectin, and stir to incorporate. Place Dutch oven on the stovetop and set heat to medium-high. Use a wooden spoon to stir as it heats up. Add in Sriracha and lemon juice. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the oven. Cook, stirring often, while mixture is at a rolling boil, until candy thermometer reads 215-220 degrees (this took around 20 minutes for me). Then, off the heat, and let mixture die down without touching it. Use a spatula or brush to remove any foam that is sitting on the surface of the mixture. Pour or ladle into jam jars, and let cool, without their lids on, to room temperature. Add lids, and store in fridge for up to two weeks. Alternatively, you could seal jars for longer, non-fridge storing. But I like to give most of the little jars away and just let people know the shelf life. PS: cute and simple DIY coming for that!!