Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam

On Sunday I talked about grape jelly. Today it's strawberry jam.

Strawberry Jam
  • 8-10 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1-2 boxes low sugar pectin (Sure Jell, Ball, MCP, or whatever is available in your area)
  • 1-2 cans apple juice or white grape juice concentrate (100% juice) 
Once your berries are ready, put them in the blender. Depending on how big your blender is, you might have to do it in a couple of batches. Don't puree them, you just want to break them down into small pieces. Of course, this also depends on how you like your strawberry jam. If you like it chunky, just pulse your food processor or blender a couple of times. to get the juice flowing and break up the strawberries.

Once you have this done, put the strawberries in a large stainless steel kettle with 1 box pectin, and bring to a rolling boil. (See the post on Grape Jelly, immediately preceding this one, for other information about home canning.) Add one can of concentrate, return to a boil, and boil for one minute.  Now, taste your concoction to see if it's sweet enough for you. If not, add another can of juice and boil for another minute.

 Once you have it sweet enough, we need to see if the jam will "jell." I wrote about the spoon test last time, but I will repeat it here. Dip a spoon in the jam and place it in the freezer for a minute. (Put it on a plate so that you don't get stuff in the freezer sticky.) Take the spoon out and see how the jam slides off. If it slides off in a sheet, it's ready. I usually just tasted it to see if it was about the right consistency. If it's too soupy, add another half of a box of pectin, boil for another minute, and repeat the spoon test. Once it's the right consistency, you are ready to put it in jars, put the jars in the water bath, and boil away!

*When I made this, I used apple juice concentrate. However, pectin also is made from apple juice, so they might have worked together, because I had a hard time getting it as sweet as I wanted it. Next time, I am going to try white grape juice.

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