From Scratch, With Love

I Love Strawberry Season

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Last Saturday, my friend, Emma, and I went strawberry picking.

I picked 5 pounds of strawberries.  Now, I was going to just freeze them all and use them for smoothies, but I thought to myself “No, Andrea.  You need to make jam.  It is your duty.”  So I made jam.  It wasn’t that hard, actually.  I found a recipe for strawberry jam that doesn’t add too many ingredients to the strawberries, which I like.  Guess where I found it?  That’s right, Good to the Grain.  The basic technique is just boiling down some sugar in water, adding strawberries, stirring for a while, and cooling.  And the result is strawberry-licious!

I only made a portion of the recipe because I already had a pretty full fridge, and the jam only lasts two weeks, but I’m including the recipe for the full batch.

Strawberry Jam (Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce)

Put a small plate in the freezer to test the jam’s consistency later.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water and place in the sink for cooling the jam when it’s done.  Have a medium bowl ready to pour the jam into (don’t put the medium bowl in the large bowl just yet – that would be jumping the gun).

Rinse and cut in half 3 lbs of fresh strawberries.  Set aside.

Pour 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water into a heavy-bottomed 5-7 quart pot.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil over high heat and cook (without stirring) for about 5 to 7 minutes until the bubbles are about the size of quarters.  Don’t stir!  If the edges of the sugar mixture start to turn brown (caramelize) immediately add the strawberries.

Once the sugar is at the desired boil level, add the strawberries and stir with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula.  Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, for 15-20 minutes.  The mixture will be come very red and liquidy and the berries will seem to begin to disappear.

If you have a candy thermometer, clip it to the side near the end and you’ll know you’re done with the temperature of the jam reaches 210 degrees (F).  I didn’t have a candy thermometer, so I just guessed.  When it’s done, move the pot to a cool burner.

Remember that plate in the freezer?  Take it out and dribble some of the jam onto it.  If it thickens, the jam is ready.

Pour the jam into the medium bowl you had set aside.  Use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the jam into the bowl.  Set the bowl in the ice bath and stir it to let some heat escape.  Squeeze about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice into the jam and stir some more (the author has some other suggestions of what to add, but you’ll have to buy the book to find out what they are.  I used lemon juice, which was not on her list.).  Cover the jam with plastic wrap so that the plastic is touching the surface of the jam.  Let cool completely, then decant into a jar or something to store in the fridge (my jar used to hold blackberry jam, then hot sauce!).

The jam is delicious just about anywhere jam might be delicious.  John mixed it with yogurt to get strawberry yogurt.  I ate it with leftover Cinnamon Raisin Baguettes, which was amazing.

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Written by poperatzii

June 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Posted in Fruit, Jam

Tagged with ,

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