Strawberry, Tequila & Pepper Jam

Fresh Spice - book cover

A brilliant jam, this – perfect for a twisted take on the afternoon tea’s jam and scones. Makes about 700g (1lb 9oz)


1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

400g (14oz) fresh or defrosted frozen strawberries

50ml (2fl oz) lemon juice

300g (10½oz) golden

granulated sugar

Zest of ¼ orange

Butter, for greasing

20ml (¾fl oz) silver tequila

A little grating of long pepper


1. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod. Put 350g (12 oz) of the strawberries in a large stainless-steel bowl, followed by the lemon juice, vanilla pod and seeds, sugar and orange zest. Stir to combine and leave overnight.

2. Next day, crush the strawberries with a potato masher, leaving a good few lumps. Put a saucer or small plate into your freezer. Cut the remaining strawberries into quarters. Set aside.

3. Very lightly grease a large saucepan with butter, then pour the vanilla strawberry mix into the pan and put it over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and, stirring frequently, cook until the sugar dissolves.

4. Turn up the heat and boil for 10 minutes, then remove the vanilla pod (scraping it clean) and test the set of the jam by popping a small bit onto the cold saucer and pushing it with your finger. If it wrinkles, and the channel made with your finger remains fairly well parted, it’s ready. If not, put the pan back on the heat for a few moments, then try again.

5. Skim any scum from the surface, then add the quartered strawberries, the tequila and long pepper, and stir through.

6. Decant into sterilised jam jars (see page 255) and enjoy whenever you’d like! Store for up to six months unopened. Once open, keep in the fridge and use within three months.

Recipe from Fresh Spice by Arun Kapil, published by Pavilion. Recipe photography by Yuki Sugiura. Arun’s will be appearing next month at the Dublin book Festival. Click here for more details.

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