Let’s make some jam!

Mar 28, 2018Student Leadership Development Institute

By Matthew Cowles, Rachel Bland, and David Brophy

From left to right: Rachel Bland, Matthew Cowles, and David Brophy

Many a time during the summer or some off time, we find ourselves looking for something to do. We tend to cook during our free time, experimenting with new recipes. So here is a little jam recipe that both Rachel and David have created during their class time that anyone can do themselves at home. The best part about cooking when you’re bored or have too much free time is that you get to eat it once you’re done!

At first, Rachel had made a strawberry, rhubarb, earl grey, and vanilla jam while in the Healthy Baking Club and absolutely loved it. Strawberry Rhubarb is always a great jam, but one of the fun things about cooking is getting to tweak a recipe and make it better, and once she did, she couldn’t get enough of it. So David and Rachel decided to do a variation of it by doing strawberry, vanilla, and earl grey for a project. The first time they made it, they thought the flavor was good, but it wasn’t perfect and decided to keep testing. After the testing and the changes were made, they were happy with the recipe that they have now. It is guaranteed to be great as a spread to go with cheese and bread or put into a yogurt parfait.

Jam recipe:

2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, cut into quarters

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

2 tea bags of Earl Grey tea

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed

2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon pectin powder


  1. Combine sugar and water over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add the Earl Grey tea and let steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the tea bags and add the strawberries and vanilla seeds and the bean. Cook over medium to high heat until a boil.
  3. Add the pectin powder and lemon juice.
  4. Cook until mixture goes over 214 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. To check the consistency of your jam, put a tablespoon or so on a plate and place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Jam should be thick and sticky.
  6. If the jam is not done, let it boil for a few more minutes.
  7. Once the jam is done, put it into glass jars to cool. The jam can be held in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

This jam is an excellent recipe to get started with and can be used in so many ways with so many different recipe variations. You can also adjust all the ingredients to your flavor needs, so feel free to play around with it. This jam is an easy first recipe for people just getting into jam making or a great recipe for people who love making jams already.

Jam making is definitely a skill everyone should have. It is relaxing, fun, and a useful skill to have under your belt, and what better way to start out than with this delicious recipe?! This is the first jam I have ever taken part in making, and I was so pleased with the turnout (David Brophy). So enjoy, and don’t forget to share your finished product with a friend!

-Matthew Cowles, Student Leader

Culinary Arts, Class of July 2018

-Rachel Bland, Student Leader

Culinary Arts, Class of July 2019

-David Brophy

Culinary Arts, Class of July 2019