Sunday, September 19, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Jam (No Pectin)

This recipe was inspired by some strawberry lemonade concentrate I made last summer. After the first batch (or was it the second batch?) my husband was licking the pot and commented that the lemonade down at the bottom had gelled and wouldn't this make great jam? Since strawberries were still crazy cheap and plentiful at the time I bought more and we made another batch of lemonade, but this time after pulling out a quart of concentrate for our own enjoyment we kept boiling it down until it reached the jelly point (215-220F with the higher number getting you a firmer jam/jelly). We then poured the jam into jelly jars and processed them for 15 minutes (if you are near sea level process for 10 minutes, mine is adjusted for my altitude). The resulting jam was very firm, but quite tasty. I meant to post this recipe last summer when strawberries were crazy cheap, but I never got around to it. Honestly, I'd mostly forgotten about it until I used some of the jam for cookies yesterday (for a friend's bridal shower, more on that later) and they were such a hit that I was woken up this morning by a phone call asking for the recipe. I will post the cookie recipe separately, but since I feel that this jam is what made the cookies I wanted to post this recipe too. This description should be enough to get you started, but if you want a proper recipe here goes:

You need:
6c chopped strawberries (you don't need to get them finely chopped or anything, just like you would for eating on ice cream)
4 c lemon juice (every recipe I've seen says that you MUST use fresh squeezed, but I used bottled lemon juice and it turned out just fine)
6 c sugar
a candy thermometer
jam-making set-up (click here for basic jam making instructions)

Puree the strawberries in a food processor and then put them in a giant, non-reactive pot. Add the lemon juice and sugar. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot so that bottom is definitely in the liquid, but nowhere near touching the bottom (touching the bottom has caused more than one broken thermometer in this household). Heat it over medium-high while stirring constantly. If you want strawberry lemonade concentrate turn off the heat and ladle some if the liquid into jars when you reach 190. (I highly recommend this because it is tasty lemonade.) Keep boiling until you reach the jelly point, 215F for a soft jelly or 220F for a firm jelly (for cookies the firmer jelly is good because it means that the jam stays on the cookies without falling off onto someone's pretty dress, but if you are mostly planning to eat it on toast go for the lower temperature.) Once you reach your desired temperature, take it off the heat, give it a good stir for a minute or so and then ladle it into your jars and process it (10 minutes at or near sea-level, adjust accordingly for elevation). Enjoy your jam in a PB&J or in cookies!

1 comment:

  1. I traded for a pint of strawberry lemonaide concentrate and a pint of blueberry lemonaide concentrate at a recent food swap. I was wondering what I could do with it since I really don't like consuming that much sugar in drinks. This is a unique jelly. I think it will make a great little gift in 4 oz jars for the neighbors and friends. Thank you.