Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Strawberry Syrup or Jam

This post is a part of Real Food Wednesdays.

One thing that has always puzzled me is why is it that strawberries taste so sweet when eaten fresh, but if you cook them they lose their sweetness?  I don't understand it, but that's what happens.  This week I bought 6 pounds of strawberries.  I forgot that I had originally planned to freeze some of them, so I made the whole lot into a huge batch of strawberry jam.
I decided I wanted to try morphing this strawberry jam from Z's cup of tea together with this recipe from Free to Feast.  I hulled & quartered all the strawberries and then followed Free to Feast's directions for the honey, water, gelatin mixture- except I quadrulped it: 4 c. water, 1 c. honey, 4 packets unflavored gelatine (heating over low heat for about 5 minutes til dissolved).  I then added this to the strawberries, but I could tell right away I had too much water in there.
I simmered those berries for hours & hours, trying to get the whole thing to "reduce".  At the point when I could tell they had gone completely soft I used a hand blender to mash it all up in the pot & kept on cooking.  I was sure this was never going to set- it also needed more sweetness so I added an additional 1/2 cup of honey.  At this point I could have kept it as strawberry syrup, but I took out a cup of the sauce, allowed it to cool and dissolved 4 more packets of gelatine in it, and then added that back into the pot, simmering for a while longer.
Oh, and I did have one boil over with this- what a sticky mess!  I'm not sure if this burner on my glass top stove will ever be the same!  Since it was still so thin when cooled, I thought use it as syrup on pancakes.  I let it cool on the stove and then placed it in plastic containers for the freezer (no more glass if you read my post from last week!).  Imagine my surprise when the next day I pulled them out of the fridge to go in the freezer & behold, it was jelled up.  Strawberry jam!
Besides the usual bread applications for this, try a few spoonfuls in your fruit smoothies!  It also works great to flavor plain yogurt.  So, if I was going to do this again:
6 lbs. strawberries, hulled & quartered
3 c. water or white grape juice
1 to 1 1/2 c. honey (use less if using grape juice)
8 packets unflavored gelatine (4 if you want syrup)

Place strawberries in extra large pot.  Mix water or juice, honey and gelatin in pot & heat on low over stove until dissolved.  Pour over strawberries & mix well.  Bring to boil over medium heat (watch closely!) then reduce heat to low & simmer for several hours.  When strawberries are completely soft use hand blender to mash into mixture.  Allow to cool, then transfer to containers.  Freeze whatever will not be used within 2 weeks.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi, I love comments so please share your feedback & let me know what you think!