Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Strawberry Jam

Soon it will be strawberry picking season here in the northeast. I thought I would get a jump start on things and pick my strawberries at the store and make some jam to give away as gifts for Easter. It is very easy. I have been watching my favorite show on FoodTV- the Barefoot Contessa/Ina Garten (I worship her)- she has the best recipes. One for strawberries with some blueberries and one that just uses strawberries. I did a combination of the two using the blueberries, apples and lemon juice. The basic strawberry recipe has great tips for knowing when your jam is ready. You need to get the jam up to 220 in temperature but, if you don't have a candy thermometer to tell you that you can just put a plate in the freezer- get it real cold- then put a bit of the hot jam on it and run your finger though the middle. If the jam stays put and doesn't run back together- it's ready!

I liked doing the plate method better than the thermometer. Last time I made this jam I thought I cooked it too long trying to get the temperature up to 220 and my jam looked very dark in color. I like a deep crimson red for the jam. This was something my mom was always striving for. She never used a thermometer or the cold plate. Her jams were good but never consistent in color.

I hope this inspires you to try to make some jam. It really is easy and it tastes great!

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