Strawberry Jam

The so far mild-summer in the valley is almost over, hopefully ; and our household is desperately exploring creative ways to entertain the little chimp here . One such sunny day, we took a drive to an organic-strawberry farm nearby ,to re-orient with the elements. After half a day of pretend-driving the tractor, pulling the wagon, petting the horsey , picking rocks and eating berries right off the vine we got back home with a nice tan and a big basket of juicy and sweet strawberries.

Left to Blu, he would have finished off the berries in a day. However, we had had such a relaxing time at the farm that I wanted to preserve the moment forever.. well, I had enough photos to preserve the "forever" part and for fear for my baby ending up with a bad tummy , decided to make a quick preserve out of the berries.

A quick search on the internet got me this** video. I altered some of the ingredients but followed the general guidelines from the instructor regarding the strawberry-sugar ratio and the canning tips. While making the jam it took much longer than quoted in the video and but it really helped to see how the instructor was checking the consistency of the jam and did the canning. Here is the recipe of what I did with the alterations .

Prep time : 20 min
Cook time : 1 hour (plus)
Canning time : 10 min for bottling + 15 min in the waterbath

6 cups of diced strawberries
2 cups of table sugar
1 tsp dry ginger powder
2 tbs of lemon juice
6 cloves

Yields : Enough to fill 2 pint size jars

In the order
  • Set 2 small plates in the freezer for testing the jam consistency ( these will be used later in the process ).
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Slowly drop the glass jars in there ( for sterilizing them)
  • In a smaller pot sterilize the lids also similarly.
  • In a large pan combine the strawberries , sugar, lemon juice, ginger powder and the cloves*
  • Set in medium heat and keep turning with a heat-resistant spatula.
  • It will take you anywhere from 30 min to 1 hr for the water content of the strawberries to evaporate and get the jam to the required consistency.
  • To test the consistency of the jam, take about a teaspoonful and drop it on one of the plates from the freezer. Let stand for about 15 seconds. Then tilt the plate; if the juice is still running around like a syrup it means the jam is not done yet. When it is done you will see that some of the pulp remains in place when tilted and the syrup has thickened. ( Shown in detail in the video). Take it off the stove.
  • Using a jar lifter ( or a set of tongs) carefully lift the bottles from the pot making sure to empty all water from them. Please be extremely cautious while doing this. There is no need to wipe the bottles .
  • Spoon in the jam into the bottles .
  • Carefully left the lids from the pot and set them on top of the bottles. Fasten the ring to the tightest.
  • Using extreme caution , put the closed bottles back into the big pot of water. Leave it in the boiling water for another 15 minutes.
  • After 15 min , bring it out of the waterbath and let cool for about 12 hours. Now the jam is ready , canned well and would stay fresh for atleast 6 months.
*If the thought of biting on a clove while having your toast doesnt sound appealing , you could do a bouquet garni : make a small sachet out of some cheese cloth and wrap the spices in it and then let cook with the jam. When the jam is ready toss out the sachet, before the canning.

**Please note that my contribution to this recipe and the process is only the ingredients and the labor. There are several different canning methods being practiced all over the world, in fact some are simpler than the waterbath method. I encourage you to do some research on other canning methods before you start off; as you might have figured already the entire process can be rather tedious . The video in the link belongs to Marge Braker of Preserve an I have provided you with the link because I found it useful and empoyed her method to do the canning.


Pralay said...

So am I getting any?

Sunita said...

That looks so very tempting! I must remember to try this out when we get our next strawberry season. No we dont get such luscious-looking strawberries growing in Mumbai. I call my strawberry plants a miracle with tiny sour fruits. At least I get it to produce something!
We have to depend on the strawberry farms in nearby Mahabaleshwar to give us our yearly strawberry fix.

trueblue said...

Hi Sunita,
Yes ! I have tried the strawberries in India.. by the time they get to the markets in Kerala , it is usually more rot than strawberries. But my son just loves even if it is just one fruit salvaged from the box, his day is made.
Glad you are inspired to try the recipe. I am thinking of pineapple jam next :)

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