I love making my own pickles, cheeses, herbal/fruit wines, kimchi, sauces and fruit jams. A lot of effort and time go into them and although they are so widely available everywhere, I still prefer my homemade products. Not only I can ensure the quality and freshness of the ingredients that are used but also they taste much better than commercially sold ones out there.
My sharing my version of strawberry jam that requires no pectin, gelatin or citric acid added in the recipe. I have been making this for so many years and its quite funny I only thought of sharing this good stuff now. But its never too late! All you need are these two simple ingredients – strawberry and sugar. Of course, there’s is a con to this because it doesn’t have any additives, the shelf life is short. It can be kept up to 3 months and I like to make it in small batches so that I’m always having freshly made jams and a change of variety will definitely keep my tastebud satisfied as well!
1 box strawberries
1. Pluck the leaves off strawberries and wash them thoroughly.
*Optional: In a large bowl, fill it with water to 3/4 full and add 50ml vinegar. Soak strawberries in this solution for 5 minutes and then rinse off. (Omit this step if you are buying fresh strawberries from farm.)
2. Trim off the stalk area of the strawberries and thereafter cut them into smaller pieces to save time in cooking. (Blending the strawberries first can also work but it reduces the natural gelatinization that will happen later. And I’m lazy to wash the blender. Laughs!)
3. Weigh the strawberries and the amount of sugar you need might be equivalent to that. (You must be wondering am I sure that much sugar is needed right!? This is just an estimation to prepare. The exact amount will differ according to individual tastebud and in later steps I will explain how much you need to adjust.)
4. In a pot, cook all the strawberries over medium-high heat.
5. Once the strawberries turn mushy, pour in half the amount of sugar you have weighed just now and adjust stove to medium heat.
6. Constant stirring is needed so don’t leave the pot! This process is one the longest as its the time where gelatinization will occur and the jam will form its thicker texture from the wet mushy strawberries. It will take about 30 minutes.
7. When the fruit gel gets really sticky and close to your desired thickened form, taste a sample of how tangy the jam is. This is the point where your remaining sugar comes to work. If you like the tangy taste, add only 1/3 more of the remaining sugar. If you feel getting close but not quite there yet, add 2/3 of the remaining sugar. If you love it sweet, by all means use up every bit of the remains. (However if you taste a ‘green’/raw taste from the jam, that means you have to cook your jam for longer time.) All of this over a medium-high heat.
8. Once you are happy with the texture, turn off the heat and set to cool for bottling.
!!! I only bottle up my jam when its half-cooled in the pot. Because of no preservatives and additives, if you bottle your hot jam and reverse the process of cooling in the bottle, likely your jam will take longer time to cool down before you can refridgerate it and it tends to spoil very easily. Lifespan of 3 months can decrease to as short as 2 weeks then you realise your hard work goes to waste with all the mould growing.
* So what can we do with the pot of some strawberry jam that’s difficult to be scraped off? I usually pour some milk into the pot and cook it over low heat. That gives you a nice strawberry milk while at the same time solve the problem of having a hard time scrubbing the sticky pot.
☆ Ideas for using strawberry jam
Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Milk Tea
and so many more … !!!
Try making this, let me know how your jam worked out and share what you used it for! Have loads of fun!