And since cardamom is one of my favorite spices to pair with fruit and a good vanilla bean never hurts anything... I thought that would be a great place to start!
I loved the results and now I'm almost thinking about running out and getting some more berries from our local berry farm so I can make more.
Fortunately for my wallet, I am just too tired to do that... so we'll have to wait until next year's crop, and I will have to ration out what I have for as long as I can!
Cardamom Vanilla Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe
6 tablespoons instant freezer jam pectin
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon ground cardamom5 cups smashed strawberries* (from about 1/2 flat or 4 pounds berries)
Wash and dry your freezer-safe containers.
*The easiest way to smashed fruit, after you have rinsed, dried and hulled: Place in a large bowl and gently smash with a potato masher until mostly smashed with lots of small chunks of berries still visible. Measure out from this bowl... you will likely have a tiny bit extra. (Or if you have snacked on the berries a bit, just the perfect amount!)
Split the vanilla bean down the center lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. (Stick the scraped out pod into a small jar and fill with sugar... homemade vanilla sugar!!)
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, pectin, vanilla bean seeds and cardamom until combined. Measure in the 5 cups of smashed berries, stir to combine and then continue stirring for 3 minutes.
Pour the jam into your clean, dry containers, leaving 1/2" of headspace to allow for expansion in the freezer. Cover and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes or so before transferring to the freezer.
Store in the freezer for up to a year. Once you open one and put it in the fridge, try to use it up within 3 weeks.