1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 vanilla bean, split and scraped
In a large pot over set over medium heat, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and thyme leaves. If you are using a vanilla bean, add the scrapings and the pod now but if you’re using vanilla extract, save that to add at the very end.
Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring frequently with a spoon and mashing the strawberries slightly. I like to use a potato masher for this. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for ten minutes or so or until jammy.
Remove the jam from the heat and add in vanilla extract, if using. Allow the jam to cool slightly then divide into your jars. Allow the jam to cool completely then seal with lids and pop one jar into your fridge or freezer to chill.
If using for a hostess gift, build up a small cheeseboard with two or three types of cheese on a inexpensive wood cutting board and pop a small 1/2 cup jar of the jam onto the board. Include a cheese knife or jam spoon, scatter a few nuts on there, and wrap the whole thing up in some cellophane and a ribbon. That plus a bottle of wine and you can count on an invitation to every party!