This jewel-like jam is especially fresh tasting. Using peak-of-the-season strawberries works best. This 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 of it with her for her husband who just couldn’t get enough of it!
- Cooking and Prep: 6 h
- Serves: 20
Wash all the strawberries well.
Put them through the food processor with the knife attachment just to coarsely chop them (do not mush them).
Pour them 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 (three to five) hours, stirring occasionally until the strawberries are really soft and the mixture looks thick.
Cool, and blend with a blender stick if desired.
Pour into small containers and freeze until use.
The jam is really ready after one to two hours (however the flavor deepens (and so does the color) when it cooks longer).
What’s the difference between jelly, jam, and preserves? If you think they’re all the same, read on! Jelly: The fruit comes in the form of fruit juice, i.e., grape jelly is not made from grapes proper! Jam: The fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (blended) and is therefore less stiff. Preserves: The fruit comes in the form of chunks in syrup or a jam. All three (store-bought varieties) are made from fruit/fruit juice mixed with sugar and pectin. Pectin gives these their thickness.
The better 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 adequately, 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.
You can substitute stevia (a natural sugar substitute) for part of the sugar in jam. Do not use Splenda (sucralose) or Equal (aspartame). To make completely sugar-free jam, do the following: Cook together two and a quarter pounds (one kilogra,) clean fruit (any — apricots, strawberries, blueberries, etc.), one cup apple juice concentrate (check that it doesn’t have added sugar), juice of one lemon, and (optional) honey to taste, for approximately one hour. This jam should be frozen as it contains no sugar to preserve it.
Photography: Daniel Lailah
Styling: Michal Leibowitz