Thursday, September 30, 2010

Redcurrant-strawberry jam

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Of all the recipes that I’ve tried with redcurrants, this jam is probably the best by far. I’m no jam maker, in part because it seems like a complicated procedure requiring sugar thermometers and pectin and setting temperatures and water baths and ultra-pasteurised (is that the right term for glass jars or is it only used to describe milk?) glass jars and so on. I’m not that big a fan of jam, in any case – although I guess I must confess to sometimes being taken over by a strawberry-conserve-“veri” (Tamil word for “frenzy”) and eating posh strawberry conserve straight out of the jar with a spoon, never mind the toast. I get that way with orange marmalade too, occasionally. But those are pretty rare occasions.

Like I’ve said earlier, when it came to redcurrants, I’d only ever heard of redcurrant jelly, but never tasted it – and still haven’t, if it comes to that. I’m still unsure if “redcurrant jelly” is the American for “redcurrant jam”. In any case, when I decided I would try making redcurrant jam, I also had a box of strawberries in the fridge, slightly too overripe for consumption but not yet at the stage of supporting fungus colonies. I googled redcurrant-strawberry jam recipes and bingo! up popped this one. It wanted 600 gms each of redcurrants and strawberries and twice as much sugar. It also came with jam-making instructions incorporating the use of a sugar thermometer which I don’t have and doubt I’ll be getting any time soon. So I did what I normally do in when there are instructions that I don’t care for – I ignored them.

I used a mixture of Splenda and sugar for the jam. I didn’t use pectin-rich sugar because I didn’t have any and to my mind I wasn’t making “serious” jam – I was just going to cook up two kinds of berries for an impromptu jam… but I also had the vague idea that strawberries naturally contain pectin anyway. So be warned, my instructions for this recipe are:

1. Kind of vague
2. Definitely not what serious jam-makers would approve of or follow.
But if you don’t care about that, you’ll end up, like I did, with about 200gms of a sweet-tart jam that sort of explodes on your taste buds. It is just SO right on toast and for rolling up inside chapaties. Jam to my mind can’t really be filed under “mouthwatering” but I’ll make an exception in this case. It IS mouthwatering.


Recipe for: Redcurrant-strawberry jam

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Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups redcurrants
1-1/2 cups strawberries
3/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice


Method:
1. Chop the strawberries into 1-cm pieces. Place in a lidded container along with the redcurrants.


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2. Add the sugar and Splenda to the berries.


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3. Toss together till the ingredients are mixed.


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Place in a fridge overnight, tightly covered, so that the sugar melts and the berries release their juices.


4. The next day, place the fruit in a heavy-based saucepan along with the juices. Scrape out any sugar that may be stuck to the container. Bring the fruit to a gentle simmer to make sure that all the sugar is dissolved.


5. Once the sugar has all dissolved, bring the fruit to a boil.


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Cook for 12-15 minutes, scraping around the sides of the pan once in a while, to stop the sugar crystallising. The jam is done when the juices are reduced and the fruit is no longer watery.


6. Turn off the heat, then add the lemon juice.


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Mix well. The jam should be quite thick. It should thicken further on cooling.


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7. Transfer the jam to a clean glass jar and let cool completely. It's lovely spread on scones along with thick cream. Or on toast. Or rolled up in chapaties...

RECIPE: REDCURRANT-STRAWBERRY JAM
Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups strawberries
3/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice


Method:
1. Chop the strawberries into 1-cm pieces. Place in a lidded container along with the redcurrants.
2. Add the sugar and Splenda to the berries.
3. Toss together till the sugar is evenly distributed. Place in a fridge overnight, tightly covered, so that the sugar melts and the berries release their juices
4. The next day, place the fruit in a heavy-based saucepan along with the juices. Scrape out any sugar that may be stuck to the container. Bring the fruit to a gentle simmer to make sure that all the sugar is dissolved
5. Once the sugar has all dissolved, bring the fruit to a boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes, scraping around the sides of the pan once in a while, to stop the sugar crystallising. The jam is done when the juices are reduced and the fruit is no longer watery.
6. Turn off the heat, then add the lemon juice. Mix well. The jam should be quite thick. It will thicken further on cooling.
7. Transfer the jam to a clean glass jar and let cool completely. It's lovely spread on scones along with thick cream. Or on toast. Or rolled up in chapaties.

2 comments:

Priya said...

Droolworthy jam, yumm!

Satya said...

gorgeous looking jam ...looks awesome

Satya
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com