Strawberry Raspberry Jam with Rosé Wine aka Gregory’s Jam

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Strawberry Raspberry Jam with Rosé Wine, developed in memory of my son Gregory, is deeply flavored, ruby red in color and the perfect foil for a cheese blintz. In our house, it’s just called Gregory’s Jam.

spoon of Gregory's jam in blue bowl with rosé wine in the background

On March 3, 2017 the unthinkable happened. My son died. Our “perfect” nuclear family exploded. The foursome we so lovingly created and nurtured became a threesome. Our daughter became an only child. My husband and I became “bereaved” parents.

Save for the eulogy which my husband and I somehow managed to compose during the second week of Gregory’s permanent absence, I could not write. My social media channels went dark. Emails were overlooked, blog posts went unwritten, phone calls unanswered. Acts of kindness lacked a verbal thank you but not for lack of intense gratitude. In that sense, the phrase we heard over and over – there are no words – was true.

Slowly I found my way back to the kitchen, to my camera, to my keyboard and to living our forever-altered lives. As I imagined ways to keep Gregory alive in my work – a passion we shared – this rosé jam was born.

straight down shot of jam w spoon on white cloth

The Story of Gregory’s Jam

Early fall equates to the Jewish High Holidays, starting with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Ten days later is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we fast for 24 hours. Our family hosts a big Rosh Hashanah gathering each year. Gregory loved this event – always insisting we host it, no matter how crazy our schedules were. To break the fast at the end of Yom Kippur, we go to my friend Sharon’s house to eat her legendary blintzes.

One year we weren’t able to go and Gregory really wanted blintzes. So he found a recipe and made them himself. The next year, Gregory decided to challenge Sharon to a blintz-off.

As Gregory perfected his blintz-making, my role was to make jam. A fresh pan-fried blintz transforms from wonderful to ethereal with a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of homemade jam. (especially after fasting for 24 hours!)

My strawberry jam was already part of the break-the-fast buffet. So how could I improve it, in a way that was worthy of Gregory’s sophisticated palate and cooking prowess?

jam w spoon on old tray with wine bottle

Gregory loved Provence-style rosé wine – something my husband introduced to us when he was working for a company based in the South of France. What if the wine became the acid in the jam instead of lemon juice? I found some evidence online that this might work. In September of 2017, right before Yom Kippur, I experimented.

Using a combination of raspberries and strawberries, fresh thyme, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and rosé wine, Gregory’s jam came alive. When my husband tasted it, he declared it the best jam I had ever made. Such high praise does not pass his lips easily.

Steps to make Gregory’s Strawberry Raspberry Jam

  • Macerate (soak) the berries with all the ingredients overnight.

strawberry raspberry jam ingredients in bowl ready to macerate

  • Drain the berries, saving the liquid.

Rosé jam ingredients straining

  • Boil the liquid, reducing it by about half.
  • Add in the berry mixture minus the thyme.

jam ingredients in pot on stovetop

  • Boil the berries and liquid, skimming white foam as it appears.

jam boiling on stovetop with white foam

  • Mash the berries depending on what texture you want.

mashing strawberry raspberry jam in pot on stovetop

  • Listen for the change in sound and look for the change in color as it boils. The color becomes ruby red and the boiling bubbles become deeper sounding and less profuse.
  • Should yield 2.5 – 3 small 8 oz jars of jam.

3 jars of jam with white napkin and wood background

  • Refrigerate or freeze. This is a small batch refrigerator jam, not instructions for canning.

What to Serve with Strawberry Raspberry Jam

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Tools for Making Rosé Jam


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If you want to learn more about Gregory, please visit his memorial website.

Beth and Gregory in Hawaii

 

spoon of strawberry raspberry jam on white napkin with wine in background
5 from 4 votes
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Strawberry Raspberry Jam with Rosé Wine aka Gregory's Jam

You'll love the ruby red color and deep flavor of this strawberry raspberry jam with Rosé wine. This recipe was developed in honor of my late son, Gregory. It's full of love and memories.

Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword jam, Rosé wine, strawberry raspberry jam
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 36 tablespoons
Calories 33 kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces raspberries
  • 12 ounces strawberries coarsely chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup Rosé wine Provence-style non-sweet (I use Gerard Bertrand brand because Gregory loved it)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 whole vanilla bean scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest zest of half of a medium-sized meyer lemon

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands or a big spoon. Leave in fridge to macerate (soak to release juices) overnight.

    strawberry raspberry jam ingredients in bowl ready to macerate
  2. Next morning, drain well and reserve liquid. There should be nearly 2 cups of liquidy syrup.

    Rosé jam ingredients straining
  3. Boil the syrup to reduce by about half or until it comes to a temp of about 212 degrees.

  4. Add in fruit mixture (minus the thyme sprigs), mix well, and let it come back up to a boil.

    jam ingredients in pot on stovetop
  5. Let it reduce down further (by about half again), skimming some of the white foam away as it boils down. I use medium heat on my stovetop. I find this takes about 15 minutes to get to "jam".

    jam boiling on stovetop with white foam
  6. After you skim away the white foam, notice the texture of the jam - if you like it smoother, grab your hand masher and give it a quick mash.

    mashing strawberry raspberry jam in pot on stovetop
  7. To tell when it's done, you can use the classic freezer spoon test but I don't. I listen and look for signs. It should still be liquid but turn a bright deep red and feel thick. The boiling sound will change from many quick bubbles to fewer deeper sounding bubbles. The height of the jam mixture will have come down in the pot so notice where it is when you start the boil.

  8. Will make about 2.5 small bottles of jam using 8 ounce canning jars.

    3 jars of jam with white napkin and wood background

Recipe Notes

You know that foam I told you to skim off? Don't throw it away! I mix it into my yogurt or schmear it on a piece of toast. Waste not, want not. Enjoy it all!

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30 Responses to Strawberry Raspberry Jam with Rosé Wine aka Gregory’s Jam

  1. Annelies Z October 15, 2019 at 2:02 pm #

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful boy. The jam sounds delicious too.

    • Beth Lee October 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm #

      Thanks my friend. You posted something about hawks yesterday that I took a screen shot of – there is a story about Gregory and hawks I’ll tell you when I see you XO. And yes, objectively, the jam is fantastic :-).

  2. haley October 12, 2019 at 11:51 pm #

    I love that Gregory’s jam. Much love! And I will definitely try to make this jam.

    • Beth Lee October 13, 2019 at 7:33 am #

      Wonderful – thanks for stopping by and let me know when you make it!

  3. Betsy Cohen October 10, 2019 at 4:40 pm #

    Will do and thank you. I treasure the time. I hope this year is a sweet year for you and your family. <3

  4. April J Harris October 9, 2019 at 5:28 am #

    5 stars
    Beth, when we met I had no idea you had lost a son, and my heart breaks for you and your family. This post is a beautiful tribute to him. I enjoyed learning more about Gregory, and I am so glad you created this jam in his memory. The jam itself looks delicious, what a gorgeous colour. Sharing this wonderful post all around.

    • Beth Lee October 9, 2019 at 8:13 am #

      Well – it’s interesting – sometimes it’s nice to just be Beth the food blogger without the baggage of my tragic story. Yet it often feels inauthentic – like I’m hiding something big about who I am and what informs my life and decisions.

      Still look fondly back on our little coffee meeting with you and Sandi and so glad that happened. I hope to see you again back in the states or over in the UK!

      And thank you for sharing the post. XO

  5. Betsy Cohen October 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm #

    Beth, thank you for sharing Gregory’s story and passions. What an incredible Baby Boy!

    My heart hurts for you and I love that Gregory has helped you find your way back into the kitchen and to shared passions.

    I look forward to making Gregory’s Jam with my Baby Boy. <3

    • Beth Lee October 9, 2019 at 8:09 am #

      Oh I hope you do and tell me all about it. Love seeing your exploits and adventures with Baby Boy on FB. Hugs to your family.

  6. Lana October 8, 2019 at 7:51 pm #

    Beth, this post is so beautifully written! No wonder it leaves us tearing up at the images… Your Gregory is here with us, speaking with your words. Much love! And I will definitely try to make this jam! Hugs!

    • Beth Lee October 9, 2019 at 8:08 am #

      Oh thank you Lana – I do miss you my friend. I was at services with Tamara last night – she is spunky and crazy as ever! Hope you and the girls are doing well.

  7. Sara October 8, 2019 at 5:59 pm #

    Precious tribute, Beth! You and your family continue to awe and inspire me! XO

    • Beth Lee October 9, 2019 at 8:03 am #

      As a poignant Ted talk said by someone who lost a pregnancy, her dad, and her husband in the span of a month – we move forward with our grief. Thanks for reading and thinking of Gregory and of us XO

  8. Beverly Savage October 8, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

    Lovely story, Beth. I remember your son as a little firecracker from Summer End Parties and Thanksgivings at Hermine’s.I

    I am going to make this. I made thirty jars of apricot jam from the fruit of my backyard tree. Most will go as gifts.

    Best wishes.

    Beverly

    • Beth Lee October 9, 2019 at 7:54 am #

      thanks for the memories of our little firecracker and those wonderful backyard parties at Hermine’s. Apricot jam from your own tree! That’s fantastic. I made a bunch from pickings from Andy’s Orchard. So delicious!

  9. Tamara Andersen October 8, 2019 at 4:29 pm #

    5 stars
    Tears… What a beautiful post. I have 4 sons, and I cannot imagine how difficult this has been.

    Your strawberry raspberry jam is so lovely! I’m a fan of all things Provence, and almost always have a rosé in my wine rack. I’m pinning, and hope I remember to make it… in honor of your son!

  10. Rosemary Mark October 8, 2019 at 3:49 pm #

    This is a beautiful post, and brings tears. The recipe is going to the top of my list. I’ve never added thyme to jam and am looking forward to trying it.

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2019 at 4:11 pm #

      This was so hard to write but cathartic at the same time. I always love when you make my recipes – I think you’ll love it.

  11. Holly October 8, 2019 at 3:44 pm #

    5 stars
    Beautiful, Beth.

    A sweet tribute to a sweet young man.
    I always think of Gregory when I have a glass of French rose, now I can make Gregory’s Jam too.
    Thank you for sharing your story, your tremendous courage, and for the fitting recipe!

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2019 at 4:15 pm #

      Thanks Holly – I took most of those pictures 2 years ago and it was like he was sitting on my shoulder willing me to figure out how to use my new camera. You’ll love the jam – let me know when you try it – better in the middle of summer but works even with late season berries.

  12. Jenni October 8, 2019 at 3:05 pm #

    5 stars
    An absolutely fabulous jam and a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to your Gregory.

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2019 at 4:16 pm #

      The courage to share and to keep moving forward is to your credit, in no small way XO.

  13. Rita Held October 8, 2019 at 3:04 pm #

    Beautiful “story”, tasty jam. Gregory will live forever in hearts and souls. I’ll try this jam next year when berries are at their prime, as I’ve noticed strawberries are getting a bit bland now. So, this is a refrigerator jam, right? Make it, cool it, refrigerate it. Eat :o)

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2019 at 4:17 pm #

      Yup – refrigerator/freezer jam though I am sure it could be modified to be canned. Better with mid summer berries but not too shabby now either 🙂

  14. Dana @ Foodie Goes Healthy October 8, 2019 at 1:02 pm #

    First of all, I’m crying over my lunch because this is such a beautiful, touching tribute to Gregory. Second, your photos are absolutely gorgeous, and instructions are perfect with the step by step photos. I’m loving this tip about boiling down the jam liquid first so that the fruit cooks less time and keeps a better color- genius and can’t wait to try it. Also, I love your family’s sense of fun, tradition, and togetherness all centered around food. Through your writing, I could feel the vibe of the playful yet serious blintz competition. I’m bookmarking these wonderful recipes.

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2019 at 4:21 pm #

      I haven’t been able to read those blintz posts in a while but through my tears, I also enjoyed all the memories and stories in there. The whole reason I started this blog, really.

      I borrowed that boiling down the liquid technique from somewhere but wow – the combo of maceration, boiling and the added flavor of thyme and rose wine is really wonderful (if I may say so myself!). The blintz recipe is an absolute winner too – can’t wait to eat them tomorrow night. I have a few in my freezer and will take a shot in the next couple days and add it to the posts. XO

  15. Orly Jaffe October 8, 2019 at 11:59 am #

    What a beautiful post Beth. Gregory would be so touched by this. And I’m in awe and proud of you for sharing your thoughts and putting this together; blessings. The recipe sounds yum and sounds perfect with blintzes. The visuals, just wonderful and I more than love the picture of you and G. Bummed that I missed spending Rosh Hashana with you all this year but hope to visit and enjoy a taste of jam together in G’s honor along with a glass of Rosé. Memories and healing through food. Sending much love. And may it be a rosé, sweet, happy, healthy, delicious new year ahead, and gmar hatima tova.

    • Beth Lee October 8, 2019 at 12:55 pm #

      Thanks Orly – this was a tough one – the recipe has been sitting since September 2017 waiting to be shared. I think he would be proud of my recipe and how far along my photography skills have come from the beginning of the blog.

      We missed you Saturday night but there will be next year. In the meantime, let’s enjoy a glass of rosé together and celebrate our friendship. Each day, whether holiday or not, is worthy of rejoicing. XO

      • Carol Leonard October 8, 2019 at 4:42 pm #

        I was going to say how proud Gregory would be of this post and especially the photography. Such sweet and heartfelt words to remind us all that life is precious. Let’s eat more jam and drink rosé.

        • Beth Lee October 9, 2019 at 4:32 pm #

          Carol you know only too well how precious each day is. That’s why we ate babka right?! – have to grab those moments. XO

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