Strawberry season has just finished so it’s about time to post something strawberry related. I took up the challenge of making a strawberry jam without adding any preservatives. Guess what! I succeeded! ^^
I’d like to share a very easy and healthy recipe for a delicious home made strawberry jam.
(for about four little jars)
2 oranges (just in case)
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Wash the strawberries and remove stalks. Put the strawberries in a big bowl and add sugar to the bowl. Put aside for about 2 hours to allow time for the strawberry juice to release.
2. Move the strawberries together with sugar and released juice to a big saucepan. Add zest of 1 lemon (pour some hot water over a lemon and get the zest of it with a grater), juice and pulp of one lemon. Slowly and delicately, on the low heat allow the sugar to completely dissolve, stirring constantly.
3. Increase the heat until the strawberries in syrup will start bubbling but be careful not to let it overflow from the saucepan. Stir the strawberries from time to time to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. You will get loads of the foam on the surface, get rid of it every time it appears throughout cooking the jam.
4. After about 3 hours your jam will start to darken and thicken and that’s when we do the ‘thickness test’. Add a drop of jam to the pre-frozen in a freezer saucer and put back to the freezer for 1 minute. After taking out of the freezer, slide your finger through the drop of jam. If it stays in the shape given to it by your finger, that means your jam is ready.
5. What if it’s not? Since we decided not to use any artificial preservatives, how are we gonna make our jam thicker? Citrus fruits are considered natural preservatives because of the high percentage of pectins they contain. Other fruits with high pectin content are: apples and rhubarb. If your jam is too runny after you’ve done the test, add some orange/lemon juice, some apple juice or some rhubarb. Tip: adding orange juice is the safest if you don’t want to change the flavour of your jam. Allow another 10 minutes for the jam to cook and absorbed added juice and perform another test.
6. When the jam is ready, set it aside for a few minutes to let it cool down a bit. Then, pour your jam into the clean jars, leaving about 2cm from the brim. Screw the jars, it’ll require some strength since we want them to be screwed properly. Once that’s done, we can move to pasteurising our jars (so we can keep them for even few months).
7. My mum’s way: take a big and quite deep saucepan. Place a cloth or (if you don’t have one) some newspaper on the bottom and place the jars on it. Allow some room between the jars so the water can easily flow between them. Add boiling water to the saucepan, almost covering the jars (about 3cm from the top of the highest jar, that’s why you should pasteurise jars of the same height). Let the water boil for about 10-30min. Take the jars out of the boiling water and place them upside down on the flat surface covered with a towel and leave for few hours (or for a whole night).