Besides consuming them raw, what can be a better way of including fruits in your diet? Making jams and preserves is one of the most satisfying and easiest job in the kitchen; not to mention it's healthy and fun to make!
Cakes and cupcakes taste even better when spread with a jam like in Victoria Sponge Cake and the Peanut Butter and Jam Bundt Cake....the options are many!
This strawberry jam does not require any canning or pectin. In fact, the lemon juice used in the jam helps to set it and balances the sweetness of the strawberries. However, if your strawberries are on the sour side, you can leave out the lemon juice altogether The addition of balsamic vinegar in this recipe gives the jam a darker shade. You may leave it out if you want to.
I actually make one more version of strawberry jam that is flavored with some wonderful and aromatic spices. I'll post that soon. Meanwhile enjoy your home made and delicious strawberry jam.
A few key notes about jam making: Many people use canning equipments for making jams and preserves.You only need to do it if you are going make large batches and are going to store your jams and preserves at room temperature. I make small batches of jams and preserves and keep it in the fridge. Thereby, no hassle of canning!
Secondly, a lot of recipes call for pectin to set the jams and preserves. I've never felt the need to use it since even without the pectin, you can still make successful jams and preserves.
Recipe Source: Nigella Lawson's How To be a Domestic Goddess
Makes about 700 grams / 25 ounces Strawberry Jam
650 grams / 23 ounces fresh or frozen(unthawed) strawberries
450 grams / 14 ounces granulated sugar (you might need more or less depending on sweetness of the strawberries)
1+1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar(optional)
If using frozen strawberries, tip them in a wide heavy bottom pan and add all the other ingredients. Mix and leave aside till the strawberries are completely thawed and are at room temperature. Mix. Keep a small platter or a plate in the freezer.
If using fresh strawberries, start from the next step.
Tip in the strawberries in a wide heavy bottom pan and add all the other ingredients Place the pan on a high flame and stirring continuously, cook till all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens a little about 4 to 5 minutes. Take the pan off the flame and mash a little.
Remove the platter from the freezer and drop just a little jam on it. Tip the platter back in the freezer for just 2 minutes.
Remove the platter again and push the drop of jam gently with your index finger. If wrinkles are formed on the surface of the preserve, it's cooked and has reached the setting stage. If not, then place the platter in the freezer again and cook the mixture for a minute or two more. Check again for the setting point on the platter.
Once the jam is ready, turn off the flame and after about 10 minutes, pour the jam in a sterilized air tight glass container. Once the mixture is at room temperature, keep it in the fridge.
Note: If you want a finer texture of the jam, chop the strawberries before making the jam.
Storage Suggestions: The jam can be stored in the refrigerator for at least 3 months.
Enjoy your home made and preservative free Strawberry Jam.