Supriti’s Strawberry Conserve
When December rolls around, everyone in Mumbai goes ga-ga for strawberries. We don’t get them that often, and ones we do get are not always of the best quality. When one comes across a wonderful lot of organic strawberries, though, one definitely has to make some jam!
This is not your average jam. For one, it has ONE FIFTH the quantity of sugar. This is not a sugar-free version, obviously, but regular jam is equal quantities of fruit and sugar, so this recipe would have required 1 kg sugar. We have only used 200g.
I’ve used organic brown sugar in this recipe, which is tonnes better that refined white. I will be developing a stevia or honey based conserve soon, so look out for that one.
Here’s my recipe for Strawberry Conserve – I add a dollop on my kiddo’s oats, or in her peanut butter sandwiches. Enjoy!
3 X 500 gms boxes Strawberry (will be about 1100-1200g after cleaning)
200 g organic brown sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
Juice of ½ a lime
Clean, trim and wash the strawberries.
Place in a clean pot, add the sugar.
Get your hands in there and start mashing the strawberries. The sugar will gradually draw out the moisture from the berries and make a sweet concentrated juice. Leave some giant pieces intact, they are a great surprise in the jam later.
Add the vanilla extract.
Place this whole mixture on the fire, and bring to a boil.
Use a wooden spoon to stir and make sure it doesn’t stick on the sides or bottom.
As you boil it, a ‘scum’ will rise to the surface. Watch the video to see how to remove it.
*For those of you who make jam regularly, the scum is usually white or a pale pink. In this case it’s a bit brown, because of the brown sugar.
Don’t panic. All is well.
Once you have most of the scum off, leave it on the fire to thicken. A single thread consistency is what I usually look for.
Squeeze in the juice of ½ a lime, simmer for a minute ( no more, or it will get bitter) and turn off the flame.
Boil a glass bottle for a few minutes, and dry it upside down on a rack. A canning bottle will do fine, as will a mason jar.
When the bottle is still warm, add the warm jam to the jar. DO NOT CLOSE THE BOTTLE. This will cause condensation and encourage fungus. Remember, this jam has very little sugar so a much lower shelf life.
Allow the jam to cool completely to room temperature before closing the lid.
Refrigerate, and enjoy it in big, happy dollops!