Strawberry Jam Recipe- No pectin
I use this jam for my cakes. I add it to Stabilized Whipped Cream or non dairy whipped cream for a delicious strawberry mousse.
It's very easy to make and it's a small batch so you don't have to worry about canning for long periods. Read the tips below for more information.
2 lbs fresh strawberries
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
In a wide bowl, crush strawberries until you have 4 cups of mashed berry You can use a immersion blender, a food processor or even a potato masher if you prefer a chunky jam( For filling cakes I prefer not to use chunks)
In a bowl, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir well. I let this sit for around an hour and even overnight when I don't have time. The sugar will create juices in the strawberries. After the hour, you can place it in a pan to cook(a tall and wide pan is good as the boiling liquid will splatter). Increase heat to medium high, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.
Read these tips!
You can skim the strawberries to clean them as they boil but one way to know if they are getting to the right consistency is by mixing the jam and then the scum disappears. Another way you can tell is done is by the noise the jam makes. When it gets to the right consistency, the sound of the bubbles popping is different. Just like when you are making custard. Be careful not to overcook as the jam will get really hard. If it's too soft that means you could have cooked it for a little bit longer.
You can always do a plate test. Place a plate in the freezer and when you are ready to test, get the plate out and place a bit of the jam in it. Let it cool down a bit and then pass your finger through the jam. If the jam stays in place that means is ready. Some people test with a spoon also but if you are not used to making jam it can be more difficult to know if it's ready or not with the spoon test.
I don't use a canning procedure for this amount since it's a smaller batch and I usually use it for cakes or my personal use right away. You can always use canning procedures to save them for long periods if you prefer. Always boil the jars and lid to make sure you get rid of bacteria. If you don't use a canning procedure, this will need to go in the refrigerator and it will last there for around six months. It never lasts that long for me!. It makes around 3 jars of 8 ounces each.
This jam doesn't require pectin but the sugar is what makes it gel so if you decide to lower the sugar content, then it might become too runny. It's best to use strawberries that are not super ripe. Using them too ripe will make the jam even sweeter. If that is not a problem then go for it!
You don't have to use the lemon juice but it makes a huge difference in the finished jam if you don't. It not only helps balance out the sweetness of all the sugar but it also prevents the sugar from crystallizing. If you don't use it, you run the risk of a grainy jam. The acidity of the lemon juice helps to preserve the finished jam which makes it last longer in the fridge. If you don't use it, the jam will turn moldy in a few days. The lemon also helps with it not being so sweet.
You can double this batch but be careful. Bigger batches are harder to cook and if you burn it, it will turn bitter and brownish in color.