Tuesday, June 24, 2014

We be jah-min

This past weekend my friend Tracy and I made strawberry jam. We made three varieties: traditional, pickled and balsamic.
I chose to slow-roast the berries ahead of time to concentrate the flavor. At about 200 degrees, the roasting took about an hour and a half. I also chose to use Pomona's pectin since I wanted the berry-rich flavor to be the main attraction and to use as little sugar to sweeten as possible. For each jam, I added all of the ingredients together, brought them to a rolling boil for 2 minutes and processed in a water bath for 10 minutes.

I used the Hood variety to make this jam. They are naturally sweet and really translate the berry flavor without much help.
  • 4 cups berries
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 2 T store-bought lemon juice*
  • 2 t each Pomona's pectin and calcium water
* Use store-bought lemon juice rather than fresh-squeezed lemons as the latter's acidity is guaranteed to be consistently at the right level while lemon's acidity varies slightly from lemon to lemon.

This jam was loosely based on this recipe from Food 52, but I decided that I wanted more punch to my jam than what recipe called for - let the adventures in personal taste preferences begin! I am excited to try this sweet, salty, tangy concoction on toast and with some meat from the BBQ this summer.
  • 3 cups Seascape berries
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3-4 T each sherry and rice vinegar
  • 1.5 t crushed coriander seeds
  • Cardamom*
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 pinches chili flakes
  • 1.5 t each Pomona's pectin and calcium water
* I used sugar that I had ground seeds into previously rather than the amount the recipe called for - I would probably add more for the next go round.

I love strawberry balsamic jam! It is like a grown up version of the jam I grew up with. I also added cracked pepper and thyme to this batch. Yum!
  • 4 cups Seascape berries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • Cracked pepper to taste (I did about a quarter teaspoon)
  • Thyme leaves
  • 2 t each Pomona's pectin and calcium water

This project officially kicked off my 2014 canning season. Next up - raspberry jam!