Strawberry farmers here must have had a bumper crop because the market is flooded with strawberries. After making smoothies and cakes and pies and yogurt berry Popsicles I still had strawberries to play with. So I tried my hand at making jam. Tentatively. Jam making, I wrongly assumed, was a tedious process, all the canning, sterilising jars, setting the jam, pectin… Well, guess what? It is terribly easy to make.
So here is my first jar of strawberry jam. Delectable, sweet with no preservatives and so much better than the store bought ones. You can see the actual fruit and taste them. Served with yogurt and granola it was really worth the effort.
I followed my favourite blog Lebovitz for the recipe. If you are really into it go to his blog for more details, read the comments section.
You will need
900 g strawberries
1 juicy lemon
Wash, hull and chop the berries into quarters. Keep all to the same size. In a large pan made of non reactive material add the strawberries and sugar. Squeeze the juice of the lemon and add to pan with the peels. Stir and leave for 8 hours or at least two hours at room temperature.
When ready to make place a small plate in the freezer to check if jam is done. (If not use a candy thermometer).
Cook the berries with the lemon peels for 10 minutes stirring a bit on medium heat, do not raise the temperature to boiling. When the syrup looks like maple syrup after about 15 minutes , place a tsp of jam on the plate in the freezer. Return plate to freezer and check after a few minutes. If the surface of the jam wrinkles on touching it’s done.
Or use a candy thermometer and when it reaches 218- 220F it is done.
Remove lemon peels and pour into jars.
Makes about a kilo of jam.
I would like to reduce the sugar a tiny bit but comments in the blog suggest this much sugar is needed to preserve and jell the jam.
My jam was not set like a jelly, it was a bit runny but I love it this way so it was not a problem. If you want it like jelly you can grate part of a green apple into the mix before cooking.
If you want a smooth jam, just purée with a stick blender, after cooking and cooling, to desired consistency.
Sterilise jars before filling. I poured boiling water in the jar, left it for few minutes then emptied it. I then stood it upside down till dry.
Recipe source: Lebovitz