Thursday, February 15, 2007

Super Strawberry Jam

Jams are not a childhood favorite. I must admit I was more partial and still am to peanut butter, nutella, even chiz whiz. The famed strawberry jams of Baguio, the only place where it can be grown in the Philippines, are much sought after. Even I hoard it even though it takes us months and months to finish it in the house. Although I occasionally indulge in it, I find it a bit too cloyingly sweet.

Not this jam I just made! It is perfect in all aspects. The hue is perfectly red and the taste so not that annoyingly sweet. I hope I can take the credit for creating this perfect jam, but I have Nigella Lawson to thank for it :) Her wondrous book How To Be A Domestic Goddess carries this recipe, and I think the trick really is adding balsamic vinegar to the mixture. It is absolutely true what she said that it sort of brings all the more the strawberry flavor. If you have strawberries in season now, like what we have here, I urge you to please please give this a try.

For three breakfasts in a row, I have been having this with toasted wheat bread and butter. I really have to stop now, as I am trying to lose a few pounds. But I cant help it, Im even scheming to do another batch later to give to friends!

The saucer thing in the freezer (to test on jam doneness) didn't once again work for me. I hope it can be more specific by what it means by wrinkles when pressed. Nevertheless, I am so loving my strawberry jam.

Strawberry Jam
From How To Be A Domestic Goddess

3 - 3 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Put saucer in your freezer. (This is to test for jam doneness) Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, stir with wooden spoon until nicely incorporated. Put to low heat and put to boil stirring constantly. Let boil for 5-8 minutes depending on the size of your pan. Start the saucer test from 4 minutes (take saucer out of the freezer, put a spoonful of jam, let cool a bit and poke at the jam. If it wrinkles, it's done). While testing doneness, take the pan off the heat. When done, let cool for 20 minutes before storing in clean sterilized jars.

Ive made my second batch, it turned out divine though I liked the first batch better if only for the more fiery red color. The only difference was that this time I used fresh strawberries, unlike the thawed ones before. The color turns out better when the strawberries are frozen then thawed. Sort of makes it more watery, and the color really comes alive.


Anonymous said...

I really love jams, especially with freshly baked breads. Thanks for posting up this recipe with balsamic vinegar! I was just searching for other ways to use the remaining bits of my vinegar. :)

Dee said...

Oh please do try this recipe! Balsamic vinegar really works wonders here. And many thanks for popping in :)