Strawberry Habanero Everything Spread

MAKES 4 Cups  |  ACTIVE TIME 25 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 25 Min

2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 cups sugar
2 habaneros, seeds and veins removed (diced) (this makes medium heat)
2 tablespoons orange juice

Rinse strawberries in cold running water and hull them.  Quarter strawberries and place in a heavy-bottomed pot, add sugar, habaneros and orange juice. Stir well to combine.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.

Stir occasionally until the spread reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. This will take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Use a potato masher to smash strawberries if you desire a less chunky consistency or you can transfer to a food processor and blend it smooth.

Remove pot from heat.  If you are not food processing it, place jam in bowl or jelly jars and allow to come to room temperature.  Then store in the refrigerator.

COOK'S NOTES:  You can adapt the recipe to suit your heat level. We have made the following:

1 alarm - mild heat - 1 habanero, seeds and veins removed
2 alarm - medium heat - 2 habaneros, seeds and veins removed
3 alarm - hot heat - 3 habaneros diced (seeds and veins included)
4 alarm - fire - We have not make this level yet, but we would love to hear what you all come up with.

I have not canned these as we love it so much it goes too fast.  I put it in a glass bowl or 2 jelly jars and store it in the fridge.

Jam will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks (much longer from my experience).  But, it will keep  longer, if you pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
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