Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wham, Bam, Strawberry Jam

 Freezer jam is quite possibly the easiest thing in the world to make.  No kidding.  Making a sandwich involves more skill.
 First, I picked the berries.  I love the pick-your-own farm just up the road.  My bucket was so full that berries kept jumping out.  Back home, I sliced off the tops and hulled them.  Spread them on a baking sheet and mashed them with a potato masher until they are nice and pulpy.
 In another bowl, I mixed sugar and pectin, then mixed in the mashed berries.  This mixture gets poured into half-pint jelly jars, leaving a half-inch head space (the jam expands when it freezes).  Leave it for thirty minutes and then freeze or refrigerate.   That is it.  No fancy equipment, no boiling water--I didn't even turn the stove on. (Specific measurements are listed on the pectin container; I used Ball Instant Pectin).
 I gave a jar, along with a loaf of homemade Victorian Milk Bread, to my committee members as a thank you for helping with my dissertation.
We kept several jars for ourselves, and Jordan has been eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon.  I prefer mine on toast.  It is so delicious and tastes nothing like store-bought strawberry jam--it actually tastes like strawberries, even after it has been frozen.  We tried some last night on croissant bread pudding that I made with some very stale croissants: shazam.

Whole new possibilities have opened up: blueberry jam, blackberry jam, peach jam, quince jam.  Forget ice cream and frozen peas.  Our freezer will be stocked with jam!

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