Would you believe that spring has just started and we will be having 35C/95F degrees during the weekend?Well, we didn’t have much of a winter this year and we don’t expect spring to last for long, so I wanted my post today to be very colourful before spring is gone.
Whenever I go to the farmers’ market I have so many things to do afterwards as I usually want to buy everything and that means a lot of work.
This week I couldn’t resist buying some strawberries.The prices ranged around 3 to 3,50 Euros a kilo.I usually check the prices before buying and I spotted someone selling with 2 Euros a kilo.I was really lucky because I don’t think I will get them any cheaper, even during May. So this was a great opportunity to make my strawberry jam.
My friends Rosie, of Rosie Bakes a Peace of Cake and Pixie of, You say Tomahto and I say Tomayto are hosting their first event “Putting up” and they are hoping to make it a seasonal event.If you are into making jams and preserves there is still plenty of time until the 21st of May to participate and who knows you may win the raffle which will be a book on Jams and Preserves. I am submitting my recipe there hoping to win the book.
Preparation time:30 minutes
Simmering time:about 20 minutes from boiling point
Makes about 2 kilos of jam
2 kilos strawberries
800 grams Sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
4 tablespoon lemon juice
Begin by sterilizing your jars. See how to sterilize your jars here. I have been making jams for many years and have never used this method although I know my mother used to boil the jars and lids. What I do is before using them I wash them in the washing machine in the high temperature program (65C). I usually wash them in the evening and they stay in the washing machine all night.
Would you believe that in the morning they are still warm? So this works well for me for years.
Wash the strawberries with plenty of cold water and remove the stems.Place them into a colander so that they dry and then into a large pan. As I like some chunks of fruit in the jam, I leave them whole but know that this will take longer to set as by crushing them it releases the natural pectin so it can thicken.
Add sugar and brandy, then cover with cling film and place into the fridge overnight.
The next day bring to a boil.When they begin boiling lower heat to the minimum and you will need to stir it once in a while.You must remember that the mixture will rise as it boils.
As it boils you will see some foam emerging on the top.That should not worry you because that’s just a lot of air trapped in the bubbles from the boiling but it’s best to remove it as the jam looks better without it. Otherwise it is harmless. You may avoid foaming by adding 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine to the mix but this will help early spoilage of the jam, so it is better to skim it.
After patiently simmering for a while you will notice that your jam is still too runny.What you have to do is put some of the boiling jam in a spoon and let it run back into the pan.If all the jam falls away from the spoon it is not ready yet.You must keep checking this regularly and the drops will be falling slower and slower and when a last drop does not drop down but rests on the spoon this means that it is set.
Add the lemon juice and stir and remove from the heat and let it cool down.Don’t worry if the jam is still runny, as it cools down it will thicken.Place jam in the jars, cover with a lid, label and store in a cool, dark cupboard for at least two to three months otherwise refrigerate.
This will be our breakfast for a couple of months.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,