This jewel-like jam is especially fresh-tasting. Using peak-season strawberries works best. This jam tastes positively delicious on toast and in cakes. I made this once for Pesach, and my friend, who was going to Russia for Pesach with her family, insisted on taking a container for her husband, who just couldn’t get enough of it!
- strawberries - 3 1/3 lbs, cleaned and hulled
- sugar - 2 1/4 lbs sugar
- fresh lemon juice - 2-4 tbsp
Wash and clean strawberries well. Hull and trim them and weigh out appropriate amount. Put the strawberries through the food processor with the knife attachment to coarsely chop them. Do not mush them. Pour into a pot. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. When the sugar is melted, turn the fire to the lowest flame. Continue cooking uncovered for a few (3-5!) hours,* stirring occasionally, until the apricots are really soft and the mixture looks thick. Cool. Blend with a stick blender if desired (I did this). Pour into small containers, and freeze until use.
* Please note that the jam is really ready after 1-2 hours. However, the flavor deepens (and so does the color) when it cooks longer. It's up to you.
Important: Please ask your Rav about inspecting/using strawberries.
FYI: What’s the difference between jelly, jam, and preserves? If you think they’re all the same, read on! Jelly is made with fruit juice, i.e., grape jelly is not made from grapes proper! Jam is made with fruit pulp or crushed (blended) fruit and is therefore less stiff. Preserves are made with fruit chunks in syrup or a jam. All three (store-bought varieties) are made from fruit/fruit juice, sugar, and pectin (a thickener).
Trivia: The most popular jelly flavor is grape, and the most popular jam is strawberry.
Keep In Mind: The higher the quality of the fruit you use, the better your jams will be. (Save the squished fruit for compote!) Most fruits have enough natural pectin to gel, so you need not use commercial pectin (I never do!). When you chop the fruit prior to making the jam, the natural pectin is released.
Important Note: You can substitute stevia (a natural sugar substitute) for part of the sugar in jam. Do not use Splenda (su- cralose) or Equal (aspartame). To make completely sugar-free jam, combine 21⁄4 lbs (1 kilo) clean fruit (apricots, strawberries, blueberries, etc.), 1 cup apple juice concentrate (check that it doesn’t have added sugar), the juice of 1 lemon, and (optional) honey to taste. Cook approximately 1 hour. This jam should be frozen, as it contains no sugar to preserve it.