I love jams!!
Toast and Jams are one of my favorite things for breakfast. Why? you as.
People tell me white bread is not good, sugar is the root cause of all the health issues in the world… I will not say they are wrong.
But for me, its these simple pleasures of spreading a good jam over a lovely soft white cloudy bread and having it as the first meal of the day makes me happy.
Before jumping into the jam making process, I have scoured a good number of blogs and reading materials to find out about the canning process. The technicality is a bit off putting. At first, I thought it was a cumbersome task, if I did not have seal able glass jars and sterilizing pots and the jam bottle tongs I cannot make jams!
But hey! once I started making them, I realized all these are just accessories need for people who take canning seriously. Like people who have access to loads of fresh fruits in summer and does not want it to go bad and for those who commercially does jams, they need these stuff.
But I am just a home cook in the UAE who has access to air flown fruits and veggies from all parts of the world. One day, I decided enough of the reading, let me try making marmalade (its my favorite jam). In a food network show, Ina garten makes a marmalade effortlessly. There begins my jam journey.
All you need is atleast a kilo of fruit, lemon or lime and sugar. The sugar is the preservative here.
Strawberries – 300 gm
Lemon – 1
Sugar – 200 gm
Water – 1/2 cup
Mix strawberries and sugar. Keep for one hour.
Now you can see there is some fruit sugar syrup that has developed. Add water, the juice of the lemon and the rind of it to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook it till a candy thermometer reads 105 deg C. No worries if you don’t have a thermometer. Put a plate in the freezer. Once you see that the jam is thick take out the plate and put a drop of the jam on the plate. As it cools, if it forms a wrinkly surface it means that the jam is set and you can switch off the flame. (Will add a picture of it next time I am making jam!)
As the jam is cooking get ready some glass bottles. Sterilize it in very hot and boiling water. I cheat at times!! I skip this step and do fill in some random bottles, lying around. But when you do it, keep the jam refrigerated (to be on the safe side). Pour the jam when it is hot into the sterilized bottles. You get two 250gm jam bottles worth jam!!!