Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Small Batch Strawberry Jam

All I can say is I am a happy woman. I have always wanted to experiment with making jam at home but a couple of things (or lack of them) have held me back - namely Pectin and no knowledge of canning / preserving techniques. However, this time I decided to try it with a small enough batch of strawberries so I can simply save it in a glass jar and use it up real quick and I am so very happy with the result. If any of you out there decides to try this please let me know how it turns out and if possible share your pics and also if you decide to use different berries or different amount of sugar etc do let me know. I am a newbie and would love to hear your experiments and experiences ...

1 lb Strawberries
1 C and a little less than 1/2 C Sugar
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 pieces Candied ginger chopped fine (*Optional)

1. Cut up strawberries into really small pieces .. you could also pulse them a few times in the food processor I think ...
2. Put a couple of small plates in the freezer to chill ...we need these to test the consistency of the jam.
3. Take a heavy bottomed pan with tall sides ** tall sides are important otherwise you will have a tough cleaning job on hand **  and mix together mooshed strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.
3. Put on medium heat and let it cook. Keep removing the whitish foam that floats to the top ...
4. You will notice that the mixture will go on thickening as it reaches a rolling boil - a rolling boil is basically when the liquid bubbles in your pot threaten to explode in a colorful spray around you .. be careful sugar burns can be dangerous.
5. Let it boil for 8-10 minutes or till the mix starts to appear like an almost set jello or fruit jelly. At this point remove one plate from the freezer, and run a small amount of jam in a straight line. Tilt the plate if the mix is too runny, let it cook for a couple of minutes more and repeat the test. If the jam appears to be just a wee bit thinner than regular bottled jam it is time to switch the gas and take the pan off the heat.
6. Since this is a small batch I did not use canning techniques. I just nuked a small glass bottle in the microwave for a couple of minutes. I removed it from the microwave and filled hot jam into the hot glass jar and put a lid on it but not before leaving out a good tablespoon on the cold plate for me and hubby to enjoy immediately.
7. Leave the jam to cool for about 10-12 hours then ..well then just enjoy it with toast or pancakes or ....

I know I have the ingredient candied ginger listed above, I had intended adding it once the mixture started to bubble vigorously but I forgot to add them. I have sampled strawberry jam with candied ginger at one of the farm stands a while back and it does taste yummy.

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