easy strawberry jam
Jam makes me happy. You know what else makes me happy? Cheap organic fruit. The two are kind of related, I suppose. I had never made jam until a few years ago. I was content buying good quality from the store. Then I began shopping at co-ops. One of my favorite things about shopping at my co-op (SHOUT OUT TO WILLY STREET WEST MY FAV PLACE ON EARTH) is the seconds bin.
These bins are full of product that other stores would throw out. They deeply discount it to sell it quickly, and I BUY IT ALL.
These beauties came out of that bin. Hard to believe right? I got four quarts of organic berries that were SLIGHTLY past their prime for 5 dollars and 50 cents. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? Amazing.
So, I saw these and immediately my brain screamed "JAM!!!!"
It's deceptively easy. Vegan. Very low in sugar. Very delicious, and very cheap to make. You need so few ingredients, but one of them you may have never heard of. Pectin is made from apples, it's what sets the jam and makes it, well, for lack of a better word, jammy. Without it, this would still taste good. But it would be watery, thin, and loose. The pectin brings us all together into jammy, shimmering, slimy deliciousness. I should note that there are TWO KINDS OF PECTIN. One requires large amounts of sugar to set. One is called "low sugar pectin" and that's the one you want here. It's easily found in your baking aisle, usually near the jello or gelatin products.
You can use whatever fruit you want to here, you may need to adjust the amount of sweetener based on how much sugar is present in the fruit. Taste the jam before you jar it up.
Here's how you can make this too.
EASY STRAWBERRY JAM
yields 1 quart plus a little bit
serving size 2 tbsp
2 quarts strawberries, hulled and halved
2 Tbsp cane sugar (you can use a sugar replacer here, monkfruit would be my first choice)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup water
In a sauce pan, combine all of the ingredients. stir well. Turn on the pot over low heat, and put a lid on it. Let it go for 15 minutes. Mash lightly with a potato masher. Cover again, and cook another 15-20 minutes until all the fruit has softened. Mash to desired consistency.
To test to see if the pectin has set, spoon a tablespoon of jam liquid onto a plate, and place it into the freezer. Leave it for 3 minutes. Bring it out and run your finger through the middle of the pile. It should not look runny.
Taste, jar and refrigerate.
Freeze this if you don't plan on using it within a week or two. Keeps in the freezer for 3 months.
Serve this on toast, ice cream, use it as pie filling, eat it out of the jar. I won't tell anybody. It's okay.