December 20th, 2008
Homemade Strawberry Jam
I feel blessed to have a set of the most amazing and wonderful people in my life. The latest entrant to this group is my brother-in-law Mihir (my sister got married this year). Mihir is not only a food lover like the rest of us, but is also very generous with his genuine comments of appreciation which I must say make me very happy. What is the connection between my brother-in-law and this post you ask?
When I made a foray into jam making, my sister was just engaged and a bottle of strawberry jam was the first gift I made to my brother-in-law. I still have the sms from him which reads “It was the most amazing thing I have tasted!’ I don’t really know whether I deserve such superlatives, considering the fact that making strawberry jam is a breeze. Anyone, and I really mean anyone, can make strawberry jam with the recipe below.
Ever since I made my first batch of strawberry jam, I don’t think I can ever let a strawberry season go by, without making a batch of this glistening ruby red delicacy. I also can’t let this session lapse without thinking of Mihir! Associating food with people is an old habit of mine.
A jamming session is a wonderful way for me to indulge in on a lazy afternoon when seasonal fruits are in abundance. And apart from filling your home with the heavenly aromas, they also make such exquisite, pretty little gifts for loved ones. Dont you agree?
Strawberry Jam Recipe
This Jam is based on a recipe by Moshe Shek, who runs a popular restaurant called Moshe’s in Mumbai. Sugar for me should be just right! Not more, not less. If your sugar preferences are on the higher side, you can use equal quantities of fruit and sugar. Since this is a soft set jam with pieces of fruit in it, it can be used as a topping for cheesecakes, used as a filling for sponge cakes, spread on bread or eaten as it is.
300 gm Sugar
Juice of 1 small lime
Wash and hull the strawberries. Pat dry in a cotton towel. Dry again with paper towels. Place the strawberries on a strainer in the refrigerator for half hour. This helps to dry out any moisture, if remaining. Place a saucer in the freezer to chill. This will help to test the doneness of the jam. Wash a ½ kg/500gm glass jar along with the lid carefully. Soak it in boiling water for 10 minutes, and then set it out to dry upside down, preferably where there is good sunlight, on a clean kitchen towel. Alternatively, heat in a preheated oven for 10 minutes and allow to cool to room temperature normally. Either ways, make sure the jar is completely dry.
In a clean heavy bottomed steel utensil, place the strawberries with the sugar and macerate for ½ hour. Halve some of the strawberries and heat on a very low flame until the sugar melts. This should take about 15 minutes. Be careful not to stir at this stage until the sugar melts completely. Put in the lime juice, raise the heat and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring in between to prevent scorching. Remove the foam that gathers at the surface with a slotted spoon to have a clearer jam.
Take the saucer out of the freezer, and put a drop of jam on it. Tilt the saucer, and see if the jam is set. If not, let it boil for another minute, then test again until set. It should be done by now. Pour the jam into the prepared jar, wipe carefully and store in a cool place.
P.S. I store this jam in my refrigerator.