Hi there, do you remember me? I used to blog once upon a time. Sorry I’ve been away, on the 8th of Feb we welcomed our gorgeous little girl, Amaanah. I’ve been busy looking after her and of course a son and a husband, and the usual run of the mill everyday stuff.
For now, I’m back, so be prepared to have your inbox’s flooded.
Please don’t put me into that blackhole you have in your inbox, AKA the SPAM folder, my flood will be more like a drizzle, a sprinkle even, I promise.
Now let’s talk about jam.
Don’t ask me why but I have something against store bought jam. I’m not a health freak, I try to be at times, but I’m not. I do however find myself looking more seriously at ingredients these days, especially when it comes to feeding things to my little man. I’m not a Nazi about what he eats, I try my best to avoid excessive sweet, chocolate and soft drink intake, but he is your typical kid and does enjoy indulging in all those “wonderful” things.
One thing I particularly look at is jam, I’m not sure why it’s jam that gets under my skin, I just figure it’s something that should be fairly natural since it’s made from fruit, but instead I find it has a tonne of sugar, preservatives and colourings in the ingredient list. Like I said, I’m not a health nut, and my son (and I) probably eat way worse things, that have way more sugar, preservatives and colourings than jam, (M&Ms I’m looking at you), but jam seems to be my sticky point (excuse the pun). So in the interest of my son and because it is so easy, I make my own. I have been for a while now, in fact I have an earlier version of a raspberry jam. I’ve revised the recipe and made it better suited to a larger quantity. This recipe makes approximately 2 jars (2.5 – 3 cups), but you can half, double, or triple the recipe, it would work just as well, it will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
- 1.5 kg strawberries (before cleaning the leaves off)
- 1 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Wash your strawberries well and clean the leaves of the tops. Place the strawberries in a big pot on a low-medium heat. Add in the sugar and lemon juice and let cook. Don’t let it get too hot, you don’t want it to be boiling over, just simmering, put it on a lower heat if you need to. Skim off the foam that forms at the top of the mixture, continue to do this until jam is reduced and foam no longer forms. You can also smash the strawberries from time to time so you don’t have massive chunks. It can take 1-2 hours to cook.
Keep a bowl to the side of the pot for the foam skimmings, you can strain the foam off and it makes a really yummy strawberry syrup.
Hope you’ll try this jam out. It may take a little while to cook, but it’s easy and I think it tastes better than store bought. The best part is that the little man loves it, and that’s the most important thing.
We’re not really a jam family. We don’t usually have jam on hand, but we definitely enjoy it when we do. I love jam on toast with a piece of cheese (cheese? what? trust me it tastes good) and hubby enjoys the good ol’ peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
I recently made some Master Chef inspired melting moments and needed some jam for them so I had to rely on a recipe I used to use once upon a time. I haven’t made it often, but it comes out so well and definitely tastes better than store bought jam. I don’t know exactly when and where I started using this recipe but I do remember that I based it on having briefly watched Jamie Oliver making jam on one of his shows, I wouldn’t say this is his recipe because I honestly don’t remember exactly what he did, but some of the techniques and ideas definitely came from watching him.
2 cup berries (I used frozen raspberries)
2/3 cup water
2 tblsp sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you like it)
A few drops of lemon juice (not entirely necessary)
Put all the ingredients on a medium to high heat on the stove and let it come to a light boil. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. When foam stops forming, mush the berries with a fork or spoon. When you notice it has thickened it’s pretty much done. It will set further once cool. The recipe is very adaptable, it can be halved, doubled, tripled etc.
No matter how you like it, in a peanut butter sandwich, on biscuits, in donuts or on toast with a piece of cheese, this is a great easy recipe for homemade jam.