Roxana Jullapat is the pastry chef at Ammo Cafe (1155 Highland Ave.)IMG_0962

Recipe follows…

Strawberry Jam with Orange Blossoms
Yield: 2 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
½ vanilla bean
4 cups strawberries, cut in quarters
¼ cup blood orange juice
¼ cup orange blossoms (pack in a sachet made out of cheesecloth and tied with butcher’s string)
1 teaspoon orange flower water (available in Middle Eastern markets)

Put sugar in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot. Add ½ a cup of water to moisten the sugar. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a pairing knife, scrape out the pulp with the back of the knife, and put the pulp and the pod into the pot. Cook over high heat until the mixture comes up to a boil, decrease the heat to medium and let it reduce to a thick syrup. Add strawberries, blood orange juice and the sachet, and cook into a jam for 10 to 15 minutes while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon –stirring is crucial because it helps break down the berries, it also prevents over caramelizing that may cause the jam to stick to the bottom of the pot. To test if the jam is ready, chill a glass plate in the freezer, spoon a bit of jam on it and trace it with your finger – if your finger leaves a trace the jam is ready. Transfer to a separate bowl, stir in the orange flower water and let cool completely. Remove the vanilla pod and the sachet of orange blossoms, making sure to give it a good squeeze into the jam before discarding it. Enjoy!

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