I love jam...
On bread, on pancakes, in cakes, everywhere and always!
But I usually buy it.
This year ,I've decided to try to do it on my own.
Everyone, from my Mum to the sweet ladies on the market, has been telling me that it's a piece of cake to make.
But I'm always kinda afraid to try out new things in kitchen and failures really make me feel angry about myself... Ijust can't eat failure! :D
Anyway, I've decided to give it a try.
As June is a month of strawberries, I've decided to make a strawberry jam.
I bought some heavenly scented, bloody red homegrown strawberries at local market, some brown sugar, and non-sprayed lemons. That's the recipe I've been told that works like a charm.
The thing is, I could have used some artificial preservatives and pectin for my jam in order to make it last longer or to make it thicker, but I did not want to. I've decided to make perfectly natural jam, no additives or anything else artificial, the way all things should be :)
I've decided to do the test round first, so I bought only 1kilo of strawberries.
I was told to use 400g of brown sugar on 1 kilo of strawberries. After I've tasted the jam, I realized I could have even added less, 'cause it ended up a bit too sweet for my taste. So, if you don't like extra sweet jams, better ad 300g of brown sugar on 1 kilo of strawberries.
The last ingridient was lemon, actually squeezed juice of 2 medium size lemons.
Now, the process...
I'll keep it simple.
Wash and slice strawberries.
Put them in a non sticky pan or pot.
Add brown sugar.
Add lemon juice.
Turn on the heat.
Stir it from time to time.
Cook until desired thickens. (This is the important part. I've been told that one, one and a half hour shoud be enough for a jam to thicken enough. So after an hour and a half, I turned off the heat and declared it finished....wrong... It was pretty much liquid, more liquid than the one you bought in store, like a little bit thicker strawberry topping. But I thought that after the cooling, it will get thicker....wrong..... I found out afterwards that strawberries do not have much pectin, like some other fruits, so strawberry jam should be added either pectin, if you don't want entirely natural jam, or one-two grated apples that have tons of pectin and will help thicken the jam! And yes, it should definitely be cooked more than one and a half hour... next time I'll try two, even three, and definitely with some grated apples added!)
When cooked, sip into hot sterilized jars with a tin lid, close the lid and carefully turn the jar upside down and leave it like that for 10-15 minutes ('cause that way it will be hermetically closed ).
That's it. Let it cool, then store in a frige or in a dark and cold place.
At the end, I can say, I'm satisfied with my jam, no matter the fact that it's not thicker. Now I can use it on my breakfast slice of bread or as a wonderful thick pancake strawberry topping. Yuumy!
You should definitely give a try to a homemade jam!