discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Monday, 3 February 2014

Jammin'

I have jam in my genes but have never ventured there until now.  One of my nan's makes apple jelly, marmalade and plum jam every year like a boss.
Over the school holidays we went 
and picked strawberries from the Timboon Berry Farm.  
We brought just under 3kgs but I'm sure we ate so much more than that, 
such a great way to spend an afternoon.  
I got to talking to the strawberry guru there and asked about the chemicals sprayed and lucky for us they couldn't really spray last year as it rained during the time they should have been spraying so these babies are extra special little rays of sunshine, not organic but not as bad as they could be :)  

After some reading and quick googling, I got to and made good use of these gorgeous strawberries.  
I wanted to trap their sweetness for weeks to come.  
I've basically followed Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe found in his awesome book "Everyday".
He calls it fridge jam and it has less sugar than traditional jam's and is more like a fruit sauce than a thick set jam which I love.  
I've been eating this dolloped on top of my greek yoghurt with a few nuts and seeds....and between you and me,  maybe on good vanilla icecream, I can't wait for the tub to be finished, it is wickedly addictive.  My only problem is, at this small amount we made, won't be around long!

You need to wash and hull your strawberries before you get any further.  I also got my jars out and boiled the kettle a few times and let them sit in the sink to get the old labels off them.  
For years I've either never bothered to get the labels 
off used jars saved for our sauces and chutneys, but of late they have been a thorn in my side.  
Until now! 
A really great way to get those stubborn suckers off is to use some WD40. Just soak the jars as above and for any stubborn bits that stay spray and leave to soak in for a few minutes should really do the trick.  
Just make sure you give the jars another good wash afterwards.

I had a little helper do some hulling and mashing.  
My daughter and I have a ritual over meal time as unbelievably,
 she has a terribly bland palate!  
Our banter goes something like this "What did you put in it mum?" "Oh lots of  love, hugs and kisses" "but how much" "oh too much to count". 
When we were making this jam,
 she made me smile by saying 
"Mummy I've put lots of hugs, love and kisses in here for you".  
You can see why more than cooking happens when kids are involved, 
just love it nearly as much as this jam!

Strawberry Jam
800g of strawberries (should end up with around 650g of de-stemmed/hulled fruit
500g jam setting sugar
juice and rind of one lemon

1. Now's a good time to turn on the oven to 120c. Wash and de-hull and de-stem your strawberries.  
2. in a large pot, place the strawberries and sugar and get out your potato masher and get mashing.  It's really up to you how much you mash them up.  I love some chunks in my jam but if you want to you can really mash it well  with no chunks.  This also gets the juices flowing.

3. Place onto a medium heat and bring up to a simmer.  Skim any skum that rises to the top (looks like foam).  Place your cleaned jars and lids into the oven.
4.  Let bubble rapidly for 10 minutes then turn off.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes as I read that this helps make the chunkier fruit stay suspended in the jar once cooled.  
5.  Ladle the hot jam into a jug with a spout (pyrex jug is perfect) and grab your hot jars and lids one at a time from the oven.  You can turn the oven off now too.  Be careful, all things you are handling are hot, damn hot! I use a doubled over teatowel as I have better control than with oven mits.
6.  Pour jam into jars ~ if everything is hot enough it will bubble up. Leave approximately a 1cm gap to the lid.  Carefully screw on the lid and tip jar upside down to let seal.
7.  Label if you like but it did only make 3 jars worth so I didn't bother.

                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today also marks week 6 of the 52 week money challenge, those doing it should be pro's by now and know what to do, $6 into the kitty.

Holidays are over, time to get my head back into the blogging game!  The break has been lovely but I'm itching to get back into a routine.  Here's cheers to a great school year ahead for all of us, or a great work year for that matter!!

Ciao, Jan x

3 comments :

  1. What a perfect way to use up those strawberries! They look fabulous and strawberry and black cherry jams are my favourites :D

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  2. Yum, we went and picked Strawberries two years ago but didn't make it this year. To be honest...I knew the strawberries were going to cost me $30 or more and I know how amazing they taste however both children would have a basket and fill it up and they are probably $15 a kg. They are worth it but I promise myself next year we will go because I want to make jam as well. Last week I gave my two neighbours a fresh cucumber off our vine and a couple of days later one of them sent their 8 year old daughter over with some apricot jam that she had just made that afternoon. How wonderful was that and we don't even live in the country.....downtown Brisbane. It was so nice. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love strawberry jam! Especially the ones made from fresh strawberries! It's so delightful!

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