Thursday, 27 August 2015

Strawberry and Vanilla Jam

Enjoy the best of summer produce for longer with this four ingredient, no added pectin strawberry jam with a hint of vanilla.
Strawberry & Vanilla Jam - 4 ingredients and no added pectin
I know, I know, British strawberry season has pretty much gone now. The truth is that it has taken me until now to get a few photos of this jam which I made a few weeks ago. But if you are one of those people who likes to drag out strawberry season for as long as possible and snaffle up all those reduced price punnets in the shops then this is definitely the recipe for you. Just so you know, I am exactly that type of person. Have I told you just how much I love strawberries? I love them a LOT. Even more than chocolate. I think the list of addictions goes strawberries first then chocolate, then peanut butter and then ketchup. 
Strawberry & Vanilla Jam - 4 ingredients and no added pectin
Making this jam made me happy in so many ways. The excited anticipation when I first paid for the strawberries. Watching the fruity mixture simmering away like an alchemical process climbing towards its climax. Seeing the ruby red jam glistening from within its home of glass. Tasting the opulence spread on a slice of toast, rich with fruity strawberry flavour, feeling each taste bud buzz with joy as the divine notes swept through the mouth, all rounded off with a gentle hint of vanilla.
Strawberry & Vanilla Jam - 4 ingredients and no added pectin
Four ingredients is all it takes. Note that I do not add pectin to my jam recipes because if you follow the jam making process properly you don't need it. Neither do you need quite so much sugar as most other recipes state. It's all about letting the fruit do the work. By cooking the strawberries until they release their juices the natural pectin dissolves into this fluid so it can set the jam. Then the sugar goes in to rebuild the pectin structure and allow it to form a framework which traps water in between it i.e. form a gel which is water held in a cross-linked structure. The acidic lemon juice is then added to neutralise the negative charges on the pectin which would otherwise repel each other and the whole lot is concentrated until the sugar reaches the right temperature to set. So there you go, the perfect instructions on how to make jars of happiness, perfect for adding to cakes, tarts or whatever else you fancy.


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Strawberry and Vanilla Jam
Enjoy the best of summer produce for longer with this 4 ingredient, no added pectin strawberry jam with a hint of vanilla.
Ingredients
  • 1 kg strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 375g granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Instructions
1. Wash a few small jars with hot soapy water, rinse and set upside down on a baking tray. Heat the jars in an oven set at about 150 C to sterilise while you make the jam. Put a few saucers into the fridge to chill.2. Put the chopped strawberries into a large saucepan (e.g. a pressure cooker base) over a medium-low heat for about 5 mins. Crush them a little to help them release their juices.3. Stir in the sugar and allow to dissolve then increase the heat to high and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 10 mins, stirring frequently.4. Stir in the lemon juice then boil until the temperature reaches 104-106 C on a sugar thermometer. Stir constantly making sure you don't get splashed. Once the temperature is reached remove from the heat and place 1 tsp of jam on a chilled saucer. Return to the fridge for 30 seconds then push your finger through it. You should see the jam wrinkle. If it doesn't return to the heat and booil until the correct temperature is reached again before repeating the plate test.5. Once the jam is ready, remove the jars from the oven and carefully pour the jam into them right to the top. Cover with discs of waxed paper or baking parchment and lids. Immediately submerge the pan in hot water to make cleaning easier. Allow the jam to cool then enjoy.

I'm sending this jamm of to Credit Crunch Munch because it is the perfect way to preserve reduced price, foraged or home grown fruit. Charlene is hosting this month on behalf of Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All. Also to Mandy at Sneaky Veg who is hosting the current CookBlogShare.

20 comments:

  1. I love home-made jam and love the addition of vanilla in this one:) Thanks for entering #CreditCrunchMunch!

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  2. This looks divine! I will have to try this once I harvest my berries! Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. I hope you get a really good harvest!

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  3. I love the idea of having vanilla in a strawberry jam. It sounds delicious and looks a lovely colour too.

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  4. I absolutely love love love this! I've been throwing around the idea of making some jam and this just decided it for me!! I'd love for you to come share over at our link party Throwback Thuradays link party!

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    Replies
    1. That's brilliant news. I hope you enjoy jam making, I absolutely love it!

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  5. There are still lots of strawberries around and they seem extra sweet right now. Perfect for jam making.
    I love your jam posts..... so full of science!

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  6. Lovely recipe. I don't think I've seen strawberry jam with vanilla before and am very intrigued to try it out to see what it's like. Thanks for joining up with #cookblogshare this week!

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    Replies
    1. I think it's a flavour they can be adjusted to your tastes or his pronounced you want it :)

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  7. I love home-made jam, i've never had much success with strawberry jam. Thanks for the handy tips and entering #creditcrunchmunch x

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure and I hope you have better luck with your next attempt :)

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  8. A lovely jam recipe. I find strawberry really hard to get right, I end up reboiling it and serving it hot over vanilla ice cream. Thanks for sharing with #creditcrunchmunch

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    Replies
    1. Now you come to mention it, warm strawberry jam over ice cream sounds divine!

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  9. I love the chemistry explanation at the end! If I make jam, I will take note from this recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. Good to hear it :) Hope you give jam a go soon.

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