Sunday, 8 July 2012

Strawberry jam

Well technically strawberry conserve. We were in our local farm shop the other day when Andrew spotted some punnets of strawberries reduced in price. Because they had been picked the day before they were deemed to be past their best - I just love farm shops! couldn't see Tescos doing that. Anyway Andrew gave me his most winning smile and said
"you did mention that you'd make strawberry jam.........."

Norfolk strawberries
I confess a dislike to anything strawberry flavoured and I never buy strawberry jam, it's always too sugary and doesn't taste of strawberries. But home made, completely different.

So what's the difference between a conserve & a jam? They're very similar but a conserve is softer set and with whole,or very large,pieces of fruit. Any soft skinned fruit will do. They are easy but you have to plan ahead as they take a couple of days.

You will need equal quantities of strawberries and granulated sugar.

Just under 500 grams
Mortimer loves strawberries so waited patiently for rejects!

Think that one's for me

Hull the strawberries and keep all but the largest ones whole. Layer in a large bowl with the sugar, cover with clear film and chill for 24 hours. This draws out the juices from the fruit, making it firmer and minimising the cooking time.

Just chilling
The following day transfer everything to a large heavy pan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook steadily (not rapidly) for 5 minutes.

Leave to cool, put in a bowl, cover with clear film and chill for 2 days (yep days!).

Steady boil
Don't get paranoid about the foam as it has a lot of flavour, just stir through a knob of unsalted butter after it has boiled and it will disappear. Or read Kalba's suggestions here.

On day 3 pour the strawberry mixture into the heavy pan, bring to the boil and cook steadily for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir and ladle into warmed, sterilised jars and seal. All done.

Don't be tempted to stir too frequently when boiling jam as it lowers the temperature and so delays reaching setting point, making the fruit softer.

Yesterday we had some with Greek yoghurt for breakfast. Delicious!

Perfect summer breakfast

Mortimer was happy too!

What?

6 comments:

  1. Well well. You and Kalba are determined to overcome my objections - which are the same as yours - to strawberry jam. It's far too late here to make it this year, though we still have a few in our own garden. But next year, following pressure from you both, I'll give it a go.

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    1. Don't let us bully you Margaret! It is still strawberry jam even if it is delicious. Maybe use the recipe for raspberries or reduce the sugar to fruit ratio. We have it with the yoghurt as it adds a sharpness that cuts through the sweetness - a home-made Muller corner!

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  2. Well. That's an interesting technique - never come across it before. What happens, Sharon, when you leave the jam for 2 days that doesn't happen if you don't? (If you see what I mean?).
    The finished product looks really lovely, though I wonder if it might be a bit too sweet for me - I use 750g sugar to 1kg strawberries.
    Noodles loves fruit too - to the point where he spends hours meticulously picking it from the bushes .... strange creatures!

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    1. Don't ask technical questions Kalba - it's just food magic! I think it helps to intensify the flavour and something definitely stops the fruit from going squidgy. I don't see a problem reducing the amount of sugar, sometimes I add a proportion of jam sugar as well.

      Mortimer hasn't yet started picking fruit but the June drop in the orchards has happened and he's a bit like a truffle pig snoofling about!

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  3. I've just bought the heavy pan so will give your recipe a try!
    Thanks.

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  4. Hi Gaynor, thanks for dropping by! I feel under pressure now that it works for you, fingers crossed. I'm enjoying dipping into your blog archive and looking at your blog list, quite a few are new to me and will probably get added to my ever expanding list!

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