Friday, February 6, 2009

Strawberry Jam - Drought Friendly!!!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Strawberry Jam with lots of lumps! My husband is in heaven!
I have made jam quite a few times, but I have never made it without adding water. Well, I am a convert to this method - so easy and so tasty! But what about the water? When you add the sugar to the strawberries and leave it to sit a little while the sugar draws out the water contained in the strawberries - it's an awsome little process called osmosis (this is one of the only things I remember from year 12 biology). You can find the recipe and many others that centre on strawberries here.
A shot of all the water that has been drawn out of the berries.

Just make sure that you use a 1:1 ratio of strawberries and sugar and add some lemon juice or fruit pectin (e.g. Jamsetta) and you are ready to go. The recipe below uses a kilo of sugar and a kilo of strawberries, but when I made it the other day I used 55og strawberries and 500g sugar. You can add less sugar, but sugar is needed for its preserving qualities. Using a 1:1 ratio will mean that this jam will store for at least a year (though I doubt it will last that long!).


1kg Strawberries, chopped into small pieces.
1kg Sugar
Juice of 2 lemons or a packet of fruit pectin

Put the strawberry pieces into a bowl together with sugar and fruit pectin/lemon juice.

Leave the bowl (covered with a towel) in a cool place til the next day (if you are strapped for time, 1 or 2 hours should be sufficient). Stir once in a while.

Boil mixture then simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Stir frequently. When finished take off the foamy top layer of the mixture.

To test the jam to see if it will set, put a teaspoon of the hot mixture onto a cold plate, if it gels, the jam is ready.

Pour the hot strawberry jam in hot sterilized jars.* Make sure to fill it up to the top. Clean the jars with a damp towel. Close tightly. After 10 minutes turn around and place jars on the lid. Let cool down, turn around again and store.

This would probably make about 4 medium jars of jam. Sterilize 6 to be on the safe side!

*To sterilize jars: wash in hot soapy water; rinse, put in oven heated to 110C - 120C for at least 10min; after 10min turn the oven off but leave the jars in there to keep them hot until you are ready to fill them up.

Sorry about the reflection... but you get the idea: JAM!!!

Interested in making your own laundry detergent? Check out this post from my other blog, Purify.