Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Strawberry Jam - No Pectin

Bright red strawberries made into jam and used for swirling in cream cheese frosting, strawberry milkshakes, smoothies, homemade ice cream, over a freshly toasted bagel, on top of a belgian waffle, or swirled into hot oatmeal in the morning are all the reasons I had to buy fresh strawberries and make this jam. The recipe is so simple and any berry can be substituted. Blueberries will be next, then I will try a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. A fruit medley jam with no pectin. A simple sugar syrup is all that is used to combine with fresh fruit and a little lemon juice. A candy thermometer, pan, wooden spoon, and measuring cup is the only equipment needed and before you know it, you will be nibbling on freshly made (and still warm) strawberry jam right off the spoon.

The amount of sugar used should be altered according to how ripe the berries are. I let my strawberries ripen for a few days before using them. I froze half of the batch so that I could use frozen strawberry jam in my smoothies and strawberry shakes. Note: Change a strawberry shake into a strawberry daiquiri by adding 3 T. strawberry jam, a few whole strawberries slightly chopped, a 1/4 cup of frozen strawberry daiquiri mix, and 1/4 cup of Bacardi rum. Blend and enjoy!
For the berry jam recipe you will only need 4 ingredients:

Summer Strawberry Jam
(adapted from Bon Appetit web site)
This makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
8 cups halved hulled strawberries (about 5 pounds)

Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Attach candy thermometer to sides of pan and boil syrup until thermometer registers 225°F, about 6 minutes. Mix in strawberries. Return mixture to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until jam thickens and thermometer registers 216°F, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Transfer jam to small bowl and cool. Cover and refrigerate.

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