About Me

Hello. I started this blog to write about what I do in my chosen profession : a housewife. Some day I might cook or bake something interesting and enlist my 2 year old to help, on another day I make something from scratch instead of buying it from the store and sometimes I craft with my daughter. Once in a while, we travel or have a fun day outside. I am also doing what I can to recycle and reduce waste. I am still learning all of this and documenting my journey through this blog

Strawberry Jams - Strawberry Balsamic Jam and Strawberry Chocolate Jam

As I promised on my previous post, this time I write about strawberry jam. Making jams is such a rewarding experience, much like making achaar, the Indian pickle. Jams are generally thought of as a store bought commodity, so it makes home-made jams so much more special. As with anything homemade, you can control the quality of ingredients and know exactly what you are eating.
I tried two types of jams with my stash of Costco strawberries. A balsamic strawberry jam and a strawberry chocolate jam.
Strawberry Jam
My daughter couldn't keep her hands off the strawberry chocolate jam
While reading up on strawberry jams, I found some useful information. Strawberries are a fruit that is naturally low in pectin and pectin is the substance which helps the fruit juices to gel and combine into a jam. Apples are naturally high in pectin and commercially available pectin if often made from apples. So instead of buying pectin to make the jams, I added apples to the jam. Although, jams do not necessarily need pectin, introducing pectin to the fruits helps them to reach the jam consistency faster. Without pectin the fruits have to be boiled for a long time and that reduces the nutritional value of the jam.

I based my jams on these recipes.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

I used balsamic vinegar and black pepper in this jam. I was a little afraid of using the pepper and I think I used too little. I cannot really taste it in the jam. But I absolutely loved the taste of this jam. Way better than the store bought jam, if I may say so myself.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 apples
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sliced strawberries, chopped apples and sugar. Cover it and let it sit overnight.
  • In the morning, bring the mixture to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for about 15 mins till the moisture has evaporated.
  • Blend the mixture using a hand blender or a regular blender and strain. This step is optional but we really like a smooth jam. So I added this step.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and pepper.
  • Cook till jam is done. *See notes
  • Let it cool completely and store in clean glass jars in the refrigerator.
Notes:
To find out if the jam is done, follow these steps :

  • Put a steel or ceramic plate in the freezer before starting to cook the jam.
  • When you are ready to test the jam doneness, drop a blob of jam on the plate immediately after removing it from the freezer.
  • Cut through the blob using the back of a spoon. If the jam does not run back and the cut line stays clean, the jam is done.

Strawberry Chocolate Jam

Strawberries and chocolate are a well known winning combination. They work great in a jam together. I basically made this for my daughter because the kid loves all things chocolate. (Which kid doesn't?)

Strawberry Chocolate Jam

Ingredients:
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 small apple
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
50 gm (1/2 of a) milk chocolate toffee bar or your favourite bar of chocolate
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sliced strawberries, chopped apples and sugar. Cover it and let it sit overnight.
  • In the morning, bring the mixture to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for about 10 mins till the moisture has evaporated.
  • Blend the mixture using a hand blender or a regular blender and strain. This step is optional but we really like a smooth jam. So I added this step.
  • Add the lemon juice and the chocolate bar chopped into small pieces.
  • Cook till the chocolate is incorporated and the jam is done. *See notes
  • Let it cool completely and store in clean glass jars in the refrigerator.
Notes:
To find out if the jam is done, follow these steps :

  • Put a steel or ceramic plate in the freezer before starting to cook the jam.
  • When you are ready to test the jam doneness, drop a blob of jam on the plate immediately after removing it from the freezer.
  • Cut through the blob using the back of a spoon. If the jam does not run back and the cut line stays clean, the jam is done.