Monday, June 21, 2010
Low Sugar Strawberry Jam
People often ask about my jams and if they can have the recipe, I don't usually follow one. What I do is I look at how much fruit I have and then some recipes and then I do pretty much what I want.
I am going to give you a brief disclaimer, I use the inversion method a lot for sealing jars, it is not recommended. I do not support you using this method, and suggest you follow the retail manufacturer's directions for sealing your jars.
Today I made strawberry jam, as my mom had given me some strawberries from her garden that she had frozen last year. I also caught my husband opening my cranberry jelly in an attempt to make a PBJ.
I don't like to add crap to my jam. I like fruit jam without weird things in it. Sure you can get strawberry-almond or strawberry-with-ponies-in-it! jam, you can even make those flavors if you want. Honestly I have never had someone turn down plain strawberry jam. It's good, people like it, and they like the jam I make, and it's never really the same. I say if you want to spice it up why not hunt down some odd heritage berry? You could get yellow strawberries and make a yellow strawberry jam! That would be new and exciting!
Do not use store bought berries, they make inferior jam. Go to a farm and pick your own if you have to, this will make a jam that actually tastes like strawberries. Another item about your jam, if you go to the trouble to pick your own berries, or grow them, use organic sugar. You're going to all that trouble, why not make something really good tasting, good for your body and good for the environment?
8 C. Washed and prepared berries, cut up or mashed.
2 tsp. Calcium water (comes with your pectin)
2 tsp. Pomona's Universal Pectin
3 C. Organic Unbleached Sugar
1 tsp. Citric Acid
Place eight or nine clean eight ounce jars in the oven. Turn the oven on to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place eight or nine clean rings and lids in a small pot half full of water on the stove over medium heat.
In a large pot stir your berry mush with a large wooden spoon over high flame. Add the citric acid and calcium water to your pot. Stir this until it comes to a rolling boil.
In a small bowl stir the pectin into the sugar very well. When the fruit is boiling well add the sugar all at once and keep stirring. Stir the jam until it starts to run off the spoon in one drip from the center of the spoon. When you dip the spoon in hold it up sideways and look at the jam, it should come together from both sides of the spoon and drip down in one place, not in sheets.
Your jam is now done. Skim the foam off into a small cup. Taste with spoon - but remember that jam is molten hot right now!
Remember NEVER set a hot jar down on a cold hard surface- use a tea towel or clean pillow case.
Ladle into your hot jars, wipe the edges and hand tighten a ring over a lid. Quickly turn the jar upside down and right side up.