Sunday, May 22, 2016

Recipe: 2 Strawberry Jam Recipes (one is pectin-free)

Hey Guys and Happy Spring!
Strawberry picking is in full swing here and I am so excited to share with you TWO fantastic recipes for homemade strawberry jam! That's right. And, one is pectin-free for those of you who want another option!

This past weekend I spent some time picking 10 lbs of local strawberries to make jam. It was a rainy weekend but these strawberries were absolutely perfect for jam.
Pectin, for those of you who are unaware, is a gelatin-like soluble fiber from plants (like apples, plums, gooseberries and oranges) that thickens. Some people are allergic to this ingredient, which is why I was happy to create a pectin-free alternative (from my grandmother's recipe) for one of my very good friends who happens to be allergic to this ingredient. As a result of this, the process for creating these jams are quite different, so depending on how you wish to make your jam, you can choose either option.

I store my jam in ball jars. If you wish to do so as well, you will need to sterilize the jars and well as the lids beforehand. This will take about 10 minutes so do this before making your jams!

Strawberry Jam (with Pectin)
  • Store bought pectin 
  • 2 Cups of Strawberries (sliced, stems discarded)
  • 4 Cups Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Water
Add strawberries to bowl and mash until only small chunks of strawberry remain. Add sugar and combine until well mixed. Set aside. In saucepan, combine pectin pouch and water. Stir well until no lumps remain. Bring to boil on high heat. Continue to stir mixture until well combined for 1 minute. Add to fruit mixture, and stir for 3 minutes. Transfer to containers immediately and cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Jam will be ready to use. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Can be frozen for a year. (**If you are going to freeze, leave about an 1 inch from the top to allow for expansion**)
My mixture was very light in color, a bright and shiny pinkish red color. You can see the strawberry chunks that remain. The next day I stored all but one container in the freezer. Makes 6 2-cup jars. This is perfect for biscuits!

Strawberry Jam (without Pectin)
  • 2 Cups Strawberries (sliced, stems discarded)
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Combine all ingredients into pot. Place on medium heat. Stir until all sugar in mixture is dissolved. Increase heat to high and boil. Continue to stir while boiling, allowing mixture to thicken and strawberries begin to break down (about 10 minutes - if you have a candy thermometer, mixture should hit 215 degrees F). Transfer to jars and immediately cover with tops. Let sit for 24 hours to fully cool. Can be moved to freezer for up to a year (same as previous recipe, allow 1 inch from top of jar for expansion). Makes 2 cups per recipe.
In comparison to the pectin version, the pectin-free version is much darker in color- almost a deep cherry color. This one is just as good for biscuits - however, this one is the best for making your own breakfast pastries (recipe coming soon! Stay Tuned!). I love this version better personally. Both are equally good, however, I do like allowing the jam to boil down and thicken naturally on its own. 

Do you like jam? What do you use your jam on? 

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