Monday, 1 September 2014

Home-made Strawberry jam

Recently, we visited our local pick your own farm. We had a fantastic time spending the whole day at the farm, enjoyed a picnic together and we got to pick fresh fruits. It was a fantastic opportunity for Anjalie to see how fruits grow and also for us to enjoy fresh fruits from the farm. Among our haul was gooseberries, strawberries and raspberries. We immediately decided to make our own jam over the weekend and we turned the gooseberries into the most yummiest pickle (recipe to follow soon).

You will need:
1 kg fresh straberries
750 g raspberries (or a total 1.75 kgs of berries for mixed berry jam)
3 tbsp lemon juice
750 g granulated sugar/jam sugar (adjust amount according to your taste)

Most recipes for jams and jellies suggests the use of jam sugar which has added pectin. This helps for the jam to retain flavor and colour by reducing the cooking time for jam. Pectin is naturally found in apples and plums. There are many organic pectin available in stores to add to sugar. However, I could not be bothered to buy anything new. I instead made the jam without jam sugar or pectin and did not have to overcook or lose flavor (perhaps I just got lucky?!). Feel free to use pectin or jam sugar or add a few pieces of apples, plums and oranges in your recipe.

Jam making is easy and fun and kids can be of great help too with washing the fruits for us.

Remove the stalks and wash the berries well.

Place in a large stock/jam pan

Add lemon juice and squish them well with a clean masher. You can use a berry grinder or blend and filter to remove the seeds. But, we prefer the jam with the seeds.

Add the sugar

Slowly heat it up in low heat until sugar dissolves completely.

Bring it to a boil and continue boiling for 10 mins until it reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit/105 degrees Celsius. With pectin added it should take less time (approx 5 -7 mins).

Remove from heat and take out the foam using a clean spoon and throw away. Let it cool for 10 mins and store in clean, sterilized jars. Remember not to over fill the bottles. 

Now get your little artist(s) to make the labels.

Stick the label on and enjoy your jam! We did not even wait for tea-time to enjoy our toast with jam!

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