What do you do when you get a sour batch of strawberries? You turn it into delicious jam!
Introduction: Strawberry Jam
I don’t eat fresh strawberries, but I can be persuaded to eat some jam on toast or biscuit. And maybe some iconic Potchi gummy candies.
My mom bought some strawberries from our neighbor in good faith, with full expectations that it’d be sweet and fresh. Unfortunately, that was definitely not the case. I guess the unbelievably hot weather in the Philippines is still to blame. Nobody wanted to eat the sour batch of strawberries just hanging around in the fridge.
So when my mom suggested we make them into jam, it only took me a few days (of procrastinating and dragging my feet) to get to work! The title of this post features “super small batch” because we only had a tupperware of strawberries to contend with.
According to a very quick google search, jam is a condiment that’s usually made from pressed fruit, sugar, and sometimes pectin. We definitely don’t have pectin in this house. The recipe in this blog post only contains two very accessible ingredients (to the Filipino kitchen) on top of the strawberries.
Ingredients: Homemade Strawberry Jam
This recipe makes roughly 150-200 mL of strawberry jam.
- 400 g of strawberries, hulled and chopped into pieces
- 1.6 cups of white sugar – I originally planned for only 1.5 cups, but then I added a bit more considering how sour the original batch of strawberries were.
- 1.5 tbsp of calamansi (or three pieces of calamansi)*
*Calamansi is a citrus tree indigenous to the Philippines. It bears little lime-looking fruit. Most recipes for jam feature lemons, but who stocks lemons in Manila? In contrast, we have a bunch of calamansi freshly picked from our neighbor’s tree (with permission).
Super Small Batch Strawberry Jam Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: vairable
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Mash them a bit. The sugar should help draw out liquid from the strawberries, especially if you let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes.
- As an additional step to check for jelling or jam consistency later, put a plate inside your freezer to cool it.
- Add the strawberry-sugar-citrus mixture to a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved and everything seems well-incorporated. (It’s no problem if there are still bits of strawberry floating around. They add authenticity.)
- Increase heat to high until you get a full rolling boil.
- Boil mixture for roughly 10 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent jam from sticking to the pot. You’ll notice some foaming, which is just the release of air from the strawberries. It should eventually subside. The color of the jam mix should also darken.
- Check for jelling. Place a teaspoon of liquid from the jam onto the plate you cooled in the freezer. Return it to the freezer for a few seconds up to a minute. Then, when you run your finger through the jam, there should be a clean line made, with the rest of the jam remaining gel-like and in place.
- Once the right consistency has been achieved, transfer the jam to a hot glass jar, leaving at least 1/2 inch headspace. (*To make sure your glass jar is sterile and won’t crack under sudden heat, fill it with boiling hot water first.)
- Cool the jam to room temperature. As this will be eaten right away with no processing (via canning or hot water bath), you can refrigerate the jam once it’s cooled.
- Serve on top of some toast and enjoy!
I can only vouch for the food safety of non-preserved homemade jam up to 2 weeks (maybe a month) in the fridge, but it’s so tasty I’d doubt that would even be an issue!
This post is a little bit rushed, but I wanted to get this last batch of cooking blog posts out of the way since I’ll be pretty busy again in the next several weeks. Thanks to some administrative decisions, and absolutely no thanks to the persistently high infection rates in Manila, our batch will now be returning to the hospital for active duty. Please send out some good energy for all healthcare workers (and their half-baked apprentices)!
Until next time.
❤️ Your resident kitchen gremlin