April 15, 2010

Very Yummy Strawberry Jam

Making jam at home is something I’ve been doing for a while, and it is something I seem to do whenever the mood gets me. In variably the jam making bug infects me when there’s a particular fruit is in season and I know it is not going to be around for too long. At that point I start looking around and then start figuring out what else I could make a jam out of and that’s how I have ended up making some rather unusual but very tasty jams, preserves and chuneys!

In India, the season from November through February is when a lot of fruits find their way to the market. Yes, winter (well, a large part of India does not have a true winter) is the time for things like strawberries, figs and the like.
This year, and I have no idea why, I just forgot about making jams or preserves. That is, until the end of last month when I was doing my routine clearing out of my kitchen.

Now I am a bit of a recycler of stuff, so I do tend to collect good glass bottle and jars with airtight lids for future use. I have many of them which are the same size and shape and I use these to store my spices and other stuff in the kitchen.

So, I was clearing out my kitchen shelves and came across a whole lot of empty bottles in one corner! There were too many for me to keep and some needed to be given away. It was while wondering how many to keep, that it struck me that I hadn’t “jammed” yet for this season. Close behind also came the realization that I had about 2 weeks of good strawberry season left.
So I got into a “jamming” spree and made a few jams and put those empty bottles and jars to good use.

The easiest way to make jam out of most fruit is to cook it with sugar and whatever else you might like to add to it for taste and to preserve it for as long as you would like.
I wanted to see if there was a different way of making strawberry jam. Some searching for recipes threw up a lot of options but 2 recipes stood out.

The first one has just strawberries and sugar but uses loads of vanilla beans! Great idea, in my opinion, but it would using up my stash of jealously gaurded vanilla beans.
The other one was a detailed recipe (with video) and what caught my attention here, was the addition of a bit of butter to the jam! This adds a shine to the jam. This jam also requires allowing the strawberries to sit in the sugar overnight before proceeding to make jam.
So I made my strawberry jam taking a little bit from both recipes (vanilla beans from the first, and the butter and overnight resting technique from the second), and then adding some stuff of my own. The result was a truly yummy strawberry jam.

I think I have found my “keeper” strawberry jam recipe!
Very Yummy Strawberry Jam


5 cups strawberries

1 apple, cored and grated (not peeled)

2 cups granulated sugar (or more if needed)

3 vanilla beans

3/4 tsp salt

zest and juice of 2 lemons


Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut each into 2 and put into a deep bowl. Slit the vanilla beans into 2 and add to the strawberries. Add the sugar to the strawberries and mix very well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, take the strawberries out of the fridge. The sugar would have drawn the juice out of the strawberries.
Put this into a large and deep heavy walled pot. Add more sugar at this point, if your strawberries need it.

Add the salt, grated apple, the lemon juice and zest and mix. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil. The sugar will froth up and this is why a large pot is necessary. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring well in between.
Turn down the heat a bit and allow the strawberries to cook till very soft. Using a potato masher, break down the strawberries a bit so the jam is smoother but with small pieces of fruit.

Cook till the jam is done and passes the “plate” test. Ladle the hot jam into hot sterilized jars and cover tightly.
I had enough jam to fill three 500gm jars.


Raaga said...

I have a box of frozen strawberries... nice idea...but I'm too lazy! No, that's not my excuse... it is that I have no vanilla beans :)

Happy Cook said...

Looks delish, love always strawberry jam with my toast, cant wait for the season here.

Sunshinemom said...

I am not a jam maker yet though I have some recipes bookmarked from DL. I think there is a strawberry preserve too in his blog. So is it mango next?

Your jam looks delicious. I will have one of those jammy slices, please!

Maybe you should make scones next:)

Manggy said...

5 cups of strawberries! What an enviable bounty! I love how deeply ruby the jam looks :)

MeetaK said...

i love all the vanilla in this!!wonderful!

Nupur said...

What a lovely shade of red.

I've never made jam- you make it sound so easy! And I love that your recipe calls for simple everyday ingredients.

sra said...

I've always loved the idea of macerating fruit overnite and making something yummy the next day - never done it. With me, I guess it would be marmalade, I love the idea of making my own marmalade!

Curry Leaf said...

Butter in a jam Incredible and must try.Love the way you saved the last of season strawberries.

R said...

love the way u choose the best parts of both the recipes and combined them to get this gr8 result. the red color really stands out :)

Asha @ FSK said...

That's quite a bit of vanilla in there!! I can SEE the shine on your jam.. neat!

Soma said...

I made so much last year that i still have some left. But using apple and vanilla sounds different and so nice. What a gorgeous color u have got there !

Cham said...

We are not jam persons here, but we are finding loads of strawb now. Including apple is excellent idea! The color is awesome!

Cynthia said...

I wish I had some of that jam for the swiss roll I am planning to make.

I'm a Home Chef !!! said...

yeah ur jam looks really yummy!

Spice Rack said...

yummy looking strawberry jam, throw in your bacon, egg and to it with herbs and spices from the spice rack would be a perfect idea for breakfast.

Michelle said...

OH MY but strawberry, apple and vanilla bean just sound so good!

I'm like you and save just about any glass jar especially since so many products now come in plastic jars!

Rambling Tart said...

I haven't had REALLY good strawberry jam in so long! This is beautiful, glossy and sounds fabulous with the vanilla, lemon and apple. Yum! :-)

mina said...

I tried to make jam once. It was a disaster! Yours looks amazing.

Y said...

Looks fantastic! I can just imagine the smell while this is cooking too. Heavenly..

diva said...

I can't wait to make jam! My friend's mum makes them for me usually from the berries in her garden but this time i'm gonna start making my own. I'm a huge recycler too so always have got loads of washed out glass jars in the house :) this is looking so yum

Valen said...

Ooooo I need to make some jam, but I don't think I can bring myself to use two cups of sugar!

Jaime said...

wow i love how this has apples in it :)

Aparna said...

Ok, Raaga, so you don't have vanilla beans! Do you have some vanilla extract maybe? :)

Mango is on my list, Harini for chundo and some mango chutney! Scones, yes!!!

I did go a little crazy shoppping for strawberies, Mark. :)

Maramalader is very easy to make, Sra. You definitely should.

So now, apart from the jam and bread, we also have jars in common, Michelle! ;-)

Valen, you don't need 2 cups of sugar if your starwberries are sweet.

rajani@eatwritethink said...

hey i could do this!!! nice simple recipe!!! now i just have to wait for strawberries dont cost a bomb.

sewa mobil murah said...

I wish I had some of that jam for the swiss roll I am planning to make.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Oh wow, that looks SO good! I would love a nice, buttery biscuit to spread that jam on. Yum.

Lisa Michelle said...

Aparna - Ever since the DB Orange Tian challenge, I've gotten HEAVILY into homeade jams and jellies and the whole jarring process. Thus far, kiwi strawberry, triple berry and a hot and sweet red pepper jelly that's out of this world! However, your strawberry jam looks and sounds better than any strawberry jam recipe I've come across, so it's one I'm going to use. LOVE the addition of the vanilla beans and the photo is just beautiful..like a jar of rubies.

BTW, the apple raisin chutney also looks amazing. Would love to try that one too!

Lisa Michelle said...

I MEANT PEAR and Raisin chutney lol That said, green apples could be nice too :)

bake in paris said...

I have done orange marmalade during DB challenge orange tian. Then I was thinking that maybe I should be trying other kinds of jam too. Your very yummy strawberry jam really strucks me...
Thanks for sharing :-)

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I sooo wish I had seen this earlier!!