Hi fart knockers!
I’m finally writing a blog! Yayyyy! CB and I did a shit ton of x-mas baking, and I took pictures along the way so I have a few to put up, but I thought I’d start with.. the thing we started with. Makes sense. Just some nice, plain old strawberry jam, cooked the old fashioned way, just boiled slowly away with some sugar until its a nice sticky mess.
Step 1: Pour yourself a jam making rye & coke. Jam is a slow, relaxed process so its okay if you’re blind drunk for it, as long as you sober up a bit when it comes to pouring the boiling hot liquid into small jar openings bit.
Yield: 4 litres of jam
Time: 2 hours
Cost: < $10
6 cups sliced strawberries
4 cups white sugar
Optionals: vanilla bean, lemon juice, orange zest, black pepper, basil, whiskey, cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, whatever your heart desires..
Step 2: Cut ya berries, son.
Some people leave them whole, some cut in half, some mash them unceremoniously with a potato masher.. I myself, am partial to a quarter segmentation of the fruit, which is best achieved with a small, sharp paring knife and a thumb with thick skin.
Step 3: Sweeten the pot. I use half as much sugar as berries, but you can use all the way up to equal parts.
Step 4: Bring it to a boil, and turn it down to a simmer. Let it do it’s thang for an hour or two. It will smell like the freshly squeezed armpits of an angel in your kitchen. NOT A SINGLE THING ON PLANET EARTH SMELLS BETTER. Bold statement, but I stand by it.
Now, it’s almost done, so this is where you can get a bit fancy. Add in things like.. vanilla, or lemon juice, or a couple glogs of whiskey. We added a blob of balsamic vinegar, and instantly the jam seemed to thicken up, the fruit broke down and darkened, and the taste got.. well, just “more”. Yum.
Mom, I can FEEL you rolling your eyes at my super precarious lemon curd double boiler here… yeah I know 8 pounds of lemon curd in a ceramic bowl perched on a small pot sitting on a thin piece of metal over an open flame.. not ideal.. but it’s my biggest bowl!
Your jam is ready when its nice and thick. If you want to be a nerd about it, you can keep a plate in the freezer, and blob some jam on it to test. If its still runny, let it keep going, if it holds up nice and stiff and you can fantasize easily about spreading it on a warm, buttery biscuit you’re good to go.
Last Step: Carefully ladle or pour it into clean, sterilized jars. You can put the sealed jars into some boiling water for 5-10 minutes to make sure everything is kosher in there, but I’m lazy and this isnt going to last more than a week or two anyway so I just poured it into clean jars.
Set them on a windowsill and look at them lovingly for a while..
Yeah, I put jam on my shortbread, what of it!
We put some ribbon on them and gave them, and lemon curd out as x-mas presents. I miss it..