Strawberry-Lemon Jam

Makes five ½-pint jars

- 2¾ pounds strawberries
- 4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Scant ½ cup water
- 10 paper-thin slices lemon
- 10 fresh lemongrass leaves, cut in half crosswise

1. Sterilize your jars, lids and screw bands 10 minutes; prepare a boiling water-bath canner.

2. Pick over the berries, discarding those that are green, white or mushy. Rinse briefly in a colander and shake off the excess water. Hull the berries and slice coarsely into a 6-quart pot. Stir in 3½ cups sugar and set aside.

3. In a 2-quart pot, combine ½ cup sugar with the lemon juice and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add lemon slices and simmer gently until translucent, about 15 minutes. Pour over the strawberries and stir in the lemon grass. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Then bring to a boil. Stir gently and skim the foam from the top. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. The jam should sheet from a metal spoon and a spoonful placed on a cold plate should gel within a few minutes. Remove the pieces of lemongrass.

4. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe the rim and threads of each jar with a clean, damp cloth. Place a hot lid on each jar and screw band down firmly. As each jar is filled and capped, place in boiling-water bath with the water 1 to 2 inches over the jars. When canner is full place cover on pot, bring back to a steady boil and process 5 minutes.

5. Remove jars with a lifter and set on a rack or towel 12 to 24 hours. Do not retighten bands. Store in a cool, dark place.

From "Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber" by Christine Ferber, translated by Virginia R. Phillips. USDA canning instructions.