April 21, 2010
At the farmers market I almost always overbuy due to the excitement over gorgeous produce (oh, the issues of a food geek!). Whatever fruit doesn’t look so hot after a couple of days we throw in a pot on the stove for jam. Don’t underestimate yourself – you too can make jam! It really is easy and a great way to use your extra fruit — especially because a lot of the organic strawberries don’t have the shelf life like the others. After making it, simply store it in a clean glass container in the fridge. It should last up to 10 days.
If the fruit is in season and bursting with flavor and sweetness, hold off a bit on the sugar. Taste whatever fruit you are using and add sugar accordingly. I usually start with half the amount of sugar and add more as needed. This method is great for families, because it cuts down on excess sugar reducing “hyper-mode” for the kids and yes, me too. You can also sweeten with honey or agave nectar in lieu of refined sugar. Try small batches first and see what your family likes.
Simple Strawberry Jam
4 cups strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
½ of 1 lemon (juiced)
Simply cut off the stem of the strawberry and plop them whole into a pot on medium high heat with the sugar and lemon juice. Let it bubble on medium on the stove for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash the fruit with a potato masher and reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Cool and use it for glazing fruit tarts, dollop it on a scone or smear it with its perfect match, peanut butter!