We Be Jammin’

In food on May 4, 2009 at 9:54 am
Fresh Strawberry Jam

Fresh strawberry jam

As the Farmers’ Market came to a close, we found ourselves more than happy to help out one overstocked vendor. With the arrival of strawberry season, he was practically giving away the vibrant red fruit bursting with vitamin C. Exhilarated by our purchase, we headed home to debate all the recipe possibilities.

After much thought, we opted to give fresh strawberry jam a try. It’s a great morning spread, luscious dessert drizzle, or thoughtful summer gift.  To begin, combine sugar and the zest and juice of a lemon into a small pot over low heat.  Heat and stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves (about 10 minutes).  Next, the strawberries – halved and hulled.  Keep them over lower heat until coming to a boil – keeping a watchful eye as they release their juices (and wonderful aroma!). Now comes the “gel test.”  This test involves spooning a fraction of the mixture onto a cold plate – we put ours in the freezer beforehand.  If the mixture gels quickly, you’re ready to jar.  Pour the warm jam into a container of your choice, cover and place in the fridge to let the jam set.

Now some of you may wonder why we didn’t add any pectin.  The answer to that question lies in the lemon zest.  Pectin is found in the primary cell walls of plant cells (i.e. the lemon zest contains nearly 30% pectin!)  However, if you prefer a thicker jam you can add a little packaged pectin to the heated mixture.

After sampling our sweetened farmers’ market find our only complaint – we should have made more.

Until next time,




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