Monday, 12 June 2017

Monday night preserving - my nemesis strawberry jam

Those of you who have been with me since the beginning will remember my devastation last year when I lost a lot of my jams to mould. Some people may roll their eyes at the thought of being devastated over something like that. However when you look at the time spent growing, nurturing and tending to fruit, the cost involved for the recipe and the time taken to make it, it becomes more understandable I think!
So you can imagine what was in the back of my mind when I collected these beauties. Yes it is strawberry season again and I love it! Daily pickings from now on?

I harvested just over 1kg with some of them not making it inside as you've got to eat the first few stood there on the veg plot, right? Yummy they were too.
I followed Pam Corbin's (River Cottage Pam the Jam for those who don't know) recipe in her preserves book.
She suggested mashing 200g of strawberries with 200g of granulated sugar and warming through then adding the remaining 800g of strawberries and heating slowly until soft. So off I went.

I then added another 300g of granulated sugar and 450g of jam sugar plus 150ml lemon juice which I was surprised at but maybe that's needed because it wasn't all jam sugar?
The colour was changing to that amazing deep red you get from the strawberries cooking.

I brought it to a rolling boil and waited for it to get to temperature which was around 7 or 8 minutes.
In the mean time I sterilised the jam jars in the Aga and the lids on the top in a pan of boiling water.

I am really pleased with the results and will be keeping a close eye on these jars for any sign of mould. These little ones are testers for the Christmas hampers I am going to be doing.
Thanks for reading my Monday night preserves rambles. Next week is rhubarb relish and rhubarb wine.

15 comments:

  1. Well done Tracy sometimes strawberry jam needs extra pectin in I usually use quite a bit of lemon juice as well. Different fruits have different pectin levels which helps the preserve set. One thing I have found though is crushing the strawberries does help. Strawberry and Rhubarb is also a good one to make. I also use Pinterest for looking out different recipes and with you having the produce to hand now you will need different things of processing them. Once you have the recipe saved and to hand you can always go back to it. I now have quite a few bottles of vodka on the go, Mixed Berry, Lemoncello, Strawberry, Raspberry, Rumptopf x 2. I have been stockpiling the vodka for the last four or five months for just an occasion. I am looking forward to doing Sloe Gin this year also as long as I can locate the berries. Take care and glad to see you are still persevering. Pattypan xx

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    1. Thanks Tricia. I'll have to try the strawberry and rhubarb and I need to get some more vodka on the go for the Christmas hampers. I'm looking forward to sloe gin too as I didn't get round to it last year.xx

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  2. I totally understand why mold like that would make a person cry. That must have been so depressing. We have some wonderful wild strawberries here we were enjoying but it looks suspiciously like the neighbors cat sprayed on them - they look suddenly burnt - and I've fallen into depression as well.

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    1. Oh my, it really did! I have cats around me that cause us issues on the veg plot and it's a real downer

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  3. Tracy that looks totally yummy. I have some strawbs ready t pick but not that many. How do you look after yours to make sure you get good fruit or do you just have more plants than me? I only have about 7 plants, second year in.

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    1. I have lots of plants and let the runners root themselves too, plus we pick as soon as they're ready (having said that I haven't this weekend and we've loads ready!) xx

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  4. My answer to the problem setting strawberry jam is to add either some cooked gooseberries or some stewed apple and possibly a sachet of pectin too.Mixing gooseberries or apple doesn't alter the flavour and the jam is still strawberry red and delicious.

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    1. oooh gooseberries.....mmmm! Thank you

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  5. I would probably add pectin, some strawberry jams are just too sweet and you lose the flavour of the strawberry. I bought two punnets of apricots and made jam yesterday for Christmas presents and us!

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    1. Love planning ahead Tania, I'll have a google for some Christmas apricot ideas now, thanks!

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  6. All my first crop of almost ripe strawberries I found stashed in a heap under a planter by a cheeky squirrel .... I don't think there will be much strawberry jam for us this year, unless I mix it half and half with rhubarb or gooseberries.

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    1. I'm surprised they didn't get eaten by other animals where he'd stashed them!

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  7. That looks a great colour and hopefully it won't go mouldy this time. It happens to all of us on occasion.

    When we have our apple glut in the autumn, I have made my own apple pectin, which works well. I think that recipe may be in Pam's book too. Enjoy.

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    1. I'm certainly going to look and try out the apple pectin, thanks for that! Fingers crossed this stays nice as I will be gutted if not!

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