Thursday, July 7, 2011
It was one of those random moments when I decided to try something different. I mean the whole process of making jam is not just about mixing sugar with strawberry and cooking it but the canning process to preserve the jam longer.
It's quite easy to make strawberry jam, I mean after all we only use fresh strawberries, sugar/jam sugar, pectin and lemon juice. You often come across recipes that require pectin/jam sugar but you dont really need to use them. You could just use lemon juice. Added pectin helps the jam set better especially when it comes to fruits with low pectin such as strawberries, basically most berries are low in pectin while citrus fruits are high in pectin.
Juice of half a lemon
Strawberries used must be free of soft spots/bruises and any signs that the stra
wberries are overripe, discard ones with soft spots/bruises and ones that are overripe because this will shorten the shelf life of the jam. After that, pat the strawberries to remove dirt from the strawberries or you can wash them very carefully and gently to prevent bruising the strawberries.
Cut strawberries into halves or quarters depending on how you would want your end results to be. If you like your jam to have chunks of strawberries cut them into halves but if less chunky, cut them smaller. I like my jam chunky so I cut them into halves and the bigger strawberries into quarters.
Mix half of the sugar and lemon juice with the strawberries until coated and leave it aside for a couple of hours. (Honestly I cheated my way to make the jam quickly because I was impatient (My end results didnt disappoint me so I don't think it was wrong) but if you are patient enough you make this the "proper way" after coating the strawberries cling wrap it and put it in the fridge overnight.)
To sterilise the jam jars- Wash them in hot soapy water and rinse them in clean warm water. After that I placed my jars in boiling water for 10minutes to make sure they are completely clean before placing them in the oven to dry.
Mix the pectin into the remaining half of sugar. I did my own modification- I mixed the remaining sugar and pectin mixture into the strawberry mixture for 5mins before placing the mixture into a heavy pan or large preserving pan.
Bring the strawberry mixture to boil for about 20 minutes or reach setting point. To test the setting point, remove the pan from the heat. Place of a drop of jam onto the cold plate. After a couple of seconds push the jam with your finger if it wrinkles then the jam has reached the setting point. If it doesnt then return pan to heat and boil for another few minutes and test again.
Once it has reached the setting point, turn off the heat and skim off any scum on the surface of the jam with a large spoon. Let it cool and thicken for 10minutes.
Carefully remove the sterilised jars from the oven with oven gloves. Avoid touching the insides of the jars to prevent introducing germs to the jars.
Stir the jam and ladle it into the sterilised jars carefully. Use a funnel if you are clumsy. I used an oil funnel because I was clumsy and did not have a jam funnel. If you are using an oil funnel, use a skewer stick to poke the chunks of strawberries down the funnel.
Cover with a lid while it is still hot. I took an extra step after filing the jars with jam by placing them in hot boiling water and let it continue to boil for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the pan and label.
Let the jam cool and set overnight.
Best served with Scones and clotted cream and a plain slice of bread! yummylicious!=)