Monday, May 30, 2016

Strawberry Jam

In all my jam adventures to date (I have definatley reached a stage in life where I can consider preserving a gateway to adventure) I'd never made a strawberry jam. Mostly this is because I don't really like it that much - to sweet - so there are always better things to do with strawberries (which I love, but just as they are. The better thing to do with them is eat them).

However, I was short of jam (unthinkable) and M&S had some heavily reduced English strawberries so it was the obvious choice. It was also a procrastinating tactic to avoid a job which I needed to get done (400 words on a guide to whale watching - the guide* is excellent, but beyond saying that it's excellent, clearly laid out and full of useful tips which doesn't take 400 words what can you say?) but was finding tough going.

The recipe I used was a variation of the raspberry fridge jam from the river cottage handbook on preserving. That really is an excellent jam (raspberry would be my favourite jam), tart enough to balance the sweetness of a scone, or the fat content in cream or croissants- perfect. It's also very, very simple. Half the weight of the fruit in preserving sugar (the sort with added pectin. Half the fruit mashed up, then the rest along with the sugar added to the pan. Slowly bought to a rolling boil to let the sugar melt, then boiled for 5 - 7 minutes, let to cool for 5 minutes, and then into sterilised jars. The low sugar content means you get a very loose set (it's a runny jam) and need to keep it in the fridge, but it also means less sugar and more fruit flavour.

Cooking the strawberries and sugar, even with the addition of some lemon juice in the hope it would add a bit more tartness, smelt exactly like boiled sweets which made me worry it would still be sweeter than like. It is. But even so it's turned out to be good with yoghurt will doubtless find its way into other things as well.

* It's Mark Carwardine's Guide to Whale Watching in Britain and Europe, it's well worth having a copy of if you want to see whales, full of very useful tips about where to find them, and how to identify what you might be lucky enough to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment