Saturday 29 June 2013

Summer in a Jar: My Version of Strawberry Freezer Jam...

Scored honking huge SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEET strawberries again today at the market. These come from around Tilsonburg, courtesy of Adam the Apple Guy at the market. They are the best strawberries I've had in a long, long time -- and two weeks in a row, no less. We won't talk about the disappointing strawberries from three weeks ago. Ahem. Needed maybe a day or two more in the fields bagging some rays.

These beauties... I mean, look at the SIZE of them! You'd think they'd be dry, woody and tasteless and they are so not.

...became this... with a few put aside to marinate in a titch of sugar and lots of lemon juice in the fridge overnight, thence to slosh, slither and soak their way into the remains of Rene's cake tomorrow...

...ecco là: Summer in a Jar, once they've frozen and thawed.

That organic lemon juice is my secret weapon... I mean, ingredient. (I've been reading too many spy books -- check out Dana Haynes, btw -- holy patootie, the guy can write!) But I digress. Realemon juice is okay, but I find Santa Cruz to be way more lemony and worth the price.

It says on the pectin packet that this jam can be eaten right away. I find it far too gluey. After it's frozen and thawed, though, the gluiness (think cheap pie filling) disappears and the jammy flavour develops beautifully.

I am diabetic and this jam I can eat. After trying the various Certo types and other brands I tried the Club House brand that comes in a paper envelope. I use only 2 tablespoons of sugar in 4 cups of fruit, plus copious lashings of lemon juice (my improvement) and which is a whole lot better than the 1-1/2 to 2 cups the freezer jam recipe calls for -- which is waaaaay better than the SEVEN cups of sugar called for to make four cups of regular cooked jam. That's almost 2 cups of sugar per jar of jam -- versus my 1/2 tablespoon per jar of jam. Decreasing the amount of sugar so drastically does not affect any properties of the jam that I have discovered including fridge life (3 weeks -- if you can make it last that long).

For the past several years, as the summer progresses I've made black raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, peach, wild blueberry, sour cherry, cranberry and seedless Concord grape jams (which makes wonderful jam and beats Welches all to hell) all with 2 - 3 tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice, even the super sour rhubarb, cherry and cranberry.

Thanks for looking!

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