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Pectin Free Strawberry Jam

Pectin Free Strawberry Jam

This recipe makes a rustic strawberry jam so rich it almost verges on strawberry butter (Marshall says it tastes like a strawberry fruit roll up).   I specifically wanted a recipe using common ingredients that could be made anytime without a trip to a specialty store.  For this reason I omitted pectin, a common gelling ingredient.  I don’t actually have a problem with pectin, it’s just not something that people keep on hand nowadays and I didn’t want that to deter you from making your own.  Pectin free jam is different (and I think better) than normal jam for a couple reasons.  Because there’s no pectin to gel your jam, you need to cook the berries longer in order to thicken them to the desired consistency.  The extra cooking is well worth the effort because it condenses the jam and results in a really deep, rich strawberry flavor.  It also condenses the natural sugars and therefore requires considerably less refined sugar.  This jam uses just strawberries, sugar and lemons and is sure to please!

Pectin Free Strawberry Jam

Yields 3-4 half pints

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ pounds strawberries
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Directions:

  • Hull the strawberries and slice them in half.
  • Optional: Place the berries in a large bowl and roughly crush with a potato masher (a fork would work in a pinch).  I usually skip this step because the berries break down a lot when they cook and I like my jam fairly chunky.
  • Pour all the ingredients into a large pot (I use our 6 quart dutch oven).  Give it a good stir and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once it boils reduce heat to a simmer and skim off the foam.
  • Continue to simmer uncovered until the jam is thick and no longer watery, approximately 45 minutes to an hour.  At the beginning when it’s soupy you can stir the jam just every 3-5 minutes.  However, around the 20-30 minute mark the jam will start to thicken and needs to be stirred much more often to prevent sticking.
  • When the jam has thickened to your desired consistency, take it off the heat, transfer it to airtight containers (I use glass mason jars) and store in the fridge.

Notes:

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/montage_man/4677532550/

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