July 26, 2007

Strawberry Jam

My husband is a big Costco and BJ’s fan. I like buying milk, salt, spices, nuts, bread that are definitely much cheaper (although in bulk). But I don’t like buying fruits and vegetables there. To me buying 20lbs bag of potatoes, 5 lbs of apples and 3 dozen eggs is almost putting money down the drain. The reason being we are just 2 people at home eating and how many months or years are you going to feed on the same bag of potatoes and apples? Apparently that’s not what my husband thinks; he says we still spend less based on per lb or per unit price. Well this is a very hot issue that is still under discussion and no outcome has come out of it yet.

Coming back to my Strawberry jam, we bought 4 lbs box of strawberries and I had to use them up before they start going bad. I found the recipe in my “Five-a-Day Fruit & Vegetable Cookbook”and it turned out pretty good.Very easy to make with few ingredients and tastes fabulous.


Ingredients:
Strawberries – 4 cups
Sugar – 2 cups
Lemon – 1

Method:

  • The night before you want to make the jam, clean the strawberries with a damp paper towel and remove the stems. You can leave them whole if they are small, otherwise cut them into 2 or 4 depending on the size of the berry. Make sure that the berries are completely dry before you do anything.
  • Take the berries in a non reactive bowl, glass being an excellent choice. Add sugar, cover and let sit overnight.
  • In the morning, transfer the berries and their juices to a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the juice of 1 lemon, mix well (preferably with a wooden spoon) and heat the mixture on medium-low flame with occasional stirring. Sugar will slowly dissolve and the berries will start to fall apart. The mixture needs to be cooked till it reaches jam consistency*.
  • Cool the jam completely and transfer into sterilized bottle**. Will store in a cool dry place for almost a year.
* How do you know you reached the right consistency? Book has 2 suggestions, none of which worked for me. First one is to check the temperature of the mixture with a sugar thermometer and when it reads 212ºF it is ready (I don’t own a sugar thermometer and have no intentions of buying one). Second method is to chill a saucer, put a drop of the berry mixture on it, and chill it again for 3 minute. When you try to push the drop it should from ripples (ahhhh.. what?? I didn’t know if chilling should be done in the freezer or in the refrigerator).

So that’s when I had to make an urgent call to my mom, who has jam making experience and she gave me a better idea (that really worked for me). Put a drop of the mixture on a small plate and try to move it around. If it starts flowing then the jam is not ready yet. If it resists movement and doesn’t move, then it is ready; remove from heat immediately. It took about 30-35 minutes for the jam to come together.

**To sterilize jars: Wash in hot soapy water, then rinse thoroughly and drain. Place the jars on a baking sheet and dry in a warm oven for 15-20 minutes.

11 comments:

  1. Adding lemon juice is a good idea as well... I made mine by adding orange juice and its delicious! Next tiem it will be lemon juice! :)

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  2. great and simple recipie as always...I love ur innovative Ideas...will try it out sometime and let u know for sure...

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  3. I LOVE LOVE Strawberry jam with less sugar and more chunky fruit.This looks fabulous Pavani.Thank you so much for the recipe,easy too. I will try it:)

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  4. gorgeous jam, pavanai. anita has a picture demo on checking if jam is done.
    here:
    http://madteaparty.wordpress.com/2007/07/17/mango-jam/

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  5. Pavani, like the recipe. Its great to look at..

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  6. I agree with you..some things just cannot be bought in bulk, eventually you lose money because something will rot and have to be thrown away, especially fresh produce...the jam looks yummy!!!

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  7. Same conflicts that goes in my mind too. But I dont buy produce from Costco as they are not organic.

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  8. thats it?? only 3 ingredients and jam is ready? waw. what is the shelf life? I too want to make them.

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  9. Hi pavani,
    Yummy strawberry jam.I love strawberry jam but havent tried at home.Great recipe.Thanks for sharing.
    Its been a while I visited your blog.Looks like u have changed the layout and color.Looks great....
    Have a nice day!
    Madhuri

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  10. Love strawberry jam. My ideal end to a sunday morning breakfast is that last piece of toast smeared with butter and strawberry jam with some of the chunky bits of strawberries. Hmmm I could go straight to heaven eating it.

    If you have any great picnic food ideas do come over to my blog-picnic.

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  11. Hi,
    Wonderful recipe!!
    Can I try the same method for plums? or apples?
    Thanks
    Pankaj

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