Thursday, July 16, 2015

Strawberry Jam

I mentioned that we went strawberry picking while holidaying with our daughter and son-in-law. It was so much fun to visit the vast farm and trying to pick and pick and pick.there was no restrictions so we kept eating as we picked. Not for a fleeting minute did either of us care that we are consuming not-so-clean fruits. Fresh from the plant seemed to take over any such idea. We kept going until we spotted that the shopping crates we had carried from home were filling up quickly. The whole purchase weighed to about 6lbs. Brought the strawberry loot home and stored them in the freezer all the while keeping aside for consumption as fresh. It was not hard to think of dishes to use them up before the next weekend visit to the farm.
My daughter made the strawberry ice cream that had a wonderful flavour and beautifully natural colour from the fresh produce. Meanwhile, on a visit to a bookstore, we came across a book on jams, jellies and preserves. Curious about the contents, we bought the book. Now was time to put to use the book and the berries we thought. However, cooking from the book did not materialise and we decided to rely on the internet. I had also picked up a small pack of pectin just to try. So, with some guidance from various sites on the internet and the book, we tried our recipe for the strawberry jam.At first attempt we let it sit in the heat a wee little longer and the jam was not flowing into prepared canning jars. We were careful the second try and we had perfect textured jam. Niki made this delicious jam and I carried it back home for my father. He seems to be eating it with anything he can pair it with.

Strawberry Jam
(Recipe adapted from various internet sites)
Makes 2X475 millilitres jars full.

2 &1/2 cups crushed fresh strawberries
1/8 cup (30 ml) juice of lemon/lime
1/2 tablespoon powder pectin
3&1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter at room temperature

Heat water in a largish bowl in which you will be able to drop the glass jars that will store the jam.
Gently immerse the two canning jars in the simmering water. Keep them very warm until ready to transfer the hot jam.
Crush the strawberries with the back of a ladle to almost pulpy.
In a heavy bottom large bowl, add the pulp and the lemon juice and combine. Gradually add mix the pectin in.
Place the bowl on heat and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.
It should boil down so much that the mix cannot be stirred down. Do this over high heat while constantly stirring the mixture.
Once the mix has thickened, add the entire sugar. Allow it to dissolve and cook back to full rolling hot again.
Add the butter and stir again, leaving it just for a minute on the stove. The butter eliminates the possibility of foam that might collect over the top.
You may do the plate test to check for doneness.

Remove the jars from the canning bath and quickly transfer the jam into them, leaving some space at the neck of the jars.
Store well with tight lids.
Enjoy with as many dishes as you wish.

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