When you have too many strawberries leftover, just make Strawberry Jam. You will not go back to the store-bought one after you try this recipe.
How to Store Strawberries
Whether you plan on eating them directly, or you have a stack of recipes to use, it’s important to store them properly. The last thing you want to happen is to end up with a basket of mushy berries in molds. Here are the guides to keep your strawberries fresh.
- Wash strawberries only before you use them. Once wet, they are more likely to get mushy and spoil faster. Keep strawberries dry. If you don’t plan to eat your strawberries on the same day you bring them home, store them in a different container lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
- Keeping the stems will prolong their shelf life.
- Remove the moldy strawberries. Mold spreads easily, so before buying strawberries, flip the packages to check the bottom.
- Refrigerate strawberries. The trick is to keep them cold and dry so they won’t mold. If you don’t have plans to use strawberries in a few days, remove the stems, and freeze in one layer in an airtight container.
No Pectin Jam
Have you ever noticed that in some fruit jam brands, you find the texture has jelly-like consistency? The reason is that store-bought jams use pectin, which is used as a thickening agent. Pectin occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, but some produce contains more pectin than others.
Strawberries do not contain a lot of pectins which is why many recipes will call for the addition of a commercial version of pectin. Since I do not like jelly consistency in the store-bought jam, I decided to just keep the jam natural without pectin. Lemon is important in making thick strawberry jam as it is naturally high in pectin. Furthermore, lemon is acidic and helps to balance the sweetness from the sugar.
Strawberry Jam Ratio
You may think there is so much sugar in making this Strawberry Jam recipe. The jam recipes mostly comprise equal weights of fruit and sugar. Generally, the fruit to sugar ratio for traditional jams is 1:1 (in weight). You can play with this ratio, but too much fruit and you may lose the preserving effects of the sugar, and too much sugar may be crystallized during storage.
How to Make Strawberry Jam
We want a thick jammy texture in strawberry jam, so you don’t want to add more water. Combine sugar and strawberries and in no time, the sugar will dissolve and start pulling juice out of the strawberries.
One thing to keep in mind is to try filling the pot less than half full of the jam mixture. The mixture will bubble up while it’s heating. After the mixture has gotten thicker and the strawberry chunks have gotten softer, you will know that it is ready. Do not overcook or it will get dense and lose its flavor.
This is the strawberry jam I got after letting it cool in the pot for 15 minutes. The pink foam from boiling has subsided and creates a perfect glossy strawberry jam.