This is something i have discovered in the last 2 years. When u have an excess of fruit lying in the house and no takers…. just make jam!
I discovered this super recipe which does not require any additives or citric acid. I also have been playing around with the kind of sweetener i use so it can be made more or less sugar-free… i have tested it with Raw cane sugar, Splenda, regular white sugar and Agave syrup. The latter being my fixed choice as a sweetener.
For a lux breakfast on a weekend, I love displaying glass jars full of homemade jams in the middle of the table with fresh breakfast cream or butter and a warm baguette or scones. My family absolutely loves them! Try it. Your’s will love it too.
Strawberry Lavender Jam
1.5 kilo fresh ripe strawberries/ raspberries/ mulberries or a mix of all.
1.5 cup sugar of your choice OR Agave syrup
1 large green apple
1 big heaped spoon of dried Lavender flowers ( I used this just as a touch of gourmet, but it can easily be skipped. Alternately, you can use cleaned and dried rose petals with the berries)
1) Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add diced/ chopped berries.
2) Let simmer on medium flame taking care not to burn any of the fruit. Keep stirring with a wooden spatula from time to time until you see the berries almost melting away and forming a syrup.
3) Add a freshly grated green apple into the mixture. Green Apple has a high amount of fibres, Pectin and Niacin which has similar preservation and setting properties as citric acid and store bought setting agents.
4) Keep stirring on low heat until the entire fruit is syrupy. Add the Lavender and then add the sugar of your choice and according to your taste.
5) Let simmer until the syrup begins to lose its water and starts becoming more solid and jelly like. Keep in mind that the jam will continue becoming solid until it has completely cooled.
Once done, take off the gas and let cool. Give it a squeeze of lemon juice and mix again. Store in airtight, completely dry and clean glass bottles.
Made this way, the jam easily lasts for up to 6 months in the refrigerator. But i suggest making small batches to enjoy the fresh flavor. Also i like my jams to be chunky with bits and pieces of fruit to bite into. If you don’t like that, puree the fruit before you begin the heating process.
Use the above recipe as a guide while you build up your own signature jam and compotes with various fruits. Try Seville Orange Marmalade, or a citrusy three fruit mix. Also a lemon and ginger jam tastes great with bread. For a marmalade be sure to remove all the pith from the fruit and add orange peel, slivered in thin slices.
For a Brit delish, use over ripe tomatoes with the green apples. Cut down on the sugar. Add a pinch of salt and whole spices such as cinnamon, cloves and anise and chopped nuts such as pecans and walnuts. See the results.