Friday, 25 May 2012

Strawberry Jam.



Generally I’m a great fan of Turkish food, but there are a few things I’ve had to grow to like. Sour  green plums (erik) threw me at first but I now celebrate their arrival in late spring. Their tart juiciness is perfectly complemented by a dousing in sea salt.   I was a late convert to ayran; yogurt, water and salt didn’t seem obvious bedfellows but now I drink little else during the sweltering July and August days.   I have alas, never warmed to Turkish jam. I find it annoyingly thin and syrupy and almost impossible to eat without needing a shower afterwards.  Seconds after I have spread, spooned or dripped it on to toast, it has run over the edges on to fingers and sleeves.  It’s impossible to have a sneaky late night jam sandwich (guilty secret) without the evidence leaving a sticky trail for the next morning.  This year I’m making my own jam and I’m aiming for almost solid fruit that has to be forcibly shaken from the spoon.  The strawberry has gone really well so far so here’s the recipe.
2 kg of strawberries
1.7 kg sugar
2 juicy lemons
1 packet (10 g) pectin  ( reçel yap )  (Optional, but makes the jam really thick and well set)
If  you don’t used pectin, try to find preserving sugar.

Hull the strawberries and chop into quarters. Put into a preserving pan (or the largest, solidest saucepan you have) with the sugar. Use a potato masher to squash the fruit and sugar together.  Leave for 2 hours to allow the juice to run.  Cut 3 thick strips of peel with the pith from each lemon and add to the pan with the lemon juice and pectin. Stir well to make sure all the sugar is dissolved.  Then, using your strongest burner, bring up to a rolling boil for about half an hour.  While it’s boiling put a plate into the fridge or freezer.  After 30 mins, put a small blob of jam on to the cold plate. Do this  every 5 minutes until the blob wrinkles when you push it with your finger.  While your jam is cooling, wash 2 large, 4 medium or 6 small jars and lids and put into the oven at just under 100 C for 15 mins. When the jam is cool enough, fish out the lemon peel.  I potted up while both jars and jam were still on the hot side of warm and popped the lids on straight away.
This makes a very well behaved conserve that stays put on top of your scone and won’t leave you with sticky fingers. 

20 comments:

  1. Sounds delicious, BtoB. I do most of my jam-making when we'e in France for the summer, using the French method which gives a deliciously intense, fruity flavour but doesn't produce a set jam. Not thin and syrupy, but soft. I could eat it with a spoon from the jar!

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    1. I'd love the recipe. Sounds more like a compote.

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    2. BtoB,here's the recipe using the French method, given to me by a friend who lives in France.

      APRICOT JAM

      Ingredients: 1 kilo of apricots / 750g of sugar

      Cut apricots into four pieces. Remove and discard the stones. (Note from me: if the apricots are small – and jam apricots often are – I cut them in half as I like bigger pieces of apricot in my jam).

      Mix the fruit and sugar in a stainless steel container and leave to macerate for 18 hours. (Note from me: maybe about 12 hours if the fruit is very ripe and squishy)

      Cook on a low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir from time to time. (Note from me: low heat is important; take care the jam doesn’t “catch” at the bottom of the pan).

      The jam is cooked when the juice has thickened. (I still do the blob on a cold saucer test to check that it is setting. However, you may find that the set is runnier than British jelly set, but personally I don’t think that’s a problem).

      Put into pots. Cover and seal using the “upside down” method.

      Macerate
      Use plain, white granulated sugar. (Caster sugar is fine too but not icing sugar – should you ever be tempted – because there’s an additive that makes the jam cloudy).

      Recommended ratio of sugar to fruit is between 750g and 800g to 1 kg of fruit – depending on sugar content of fruit.

      Minimum recommended is 700g sugar per kilo of fruit. The sugar is added to the fruit and left for X hours in a cool place prior to cooking. A plastic or ceramic container can be used.,but not aluminium. Ideal temperature is between 12 – 16°C but the fridge is too cold.

      Firm fruits can be stirred to distribute the sugar during maceration but delicate fruits should not.

      The macerating draws the moisture from the fruit, allows faster cooking and this both preserves the flavour of the fruit and saves energy.

      Upside down method of sealing
      Sterilise jars in the oven (or whatever is your preferred method of sterilisation). Don’t cool: pour the jam into the warmed pots as quickly as possible. Tighten lids straight away so that the jam produces a vacuum as it cools. For jams, turn the pots upside down immediately and leave in this position until cold. Then turn upright.

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    3. Thank you for this recipe. i love French apricot jam so I'll be giving this a go as soon as I'm back in my kitchen

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  2. Love it and the strawberrys here are magnificent!

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    1. I'll put some aside for the next time your come back.

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  3. Some good tips there for getting the jam to set. I've just made 8 jars of apricot jam and a couple of apricot chutney with the fruit from the land in the village. Mine is rather like Perpetua's really...soft but not runny. I don't have a recipe..it's all guesswork as I never made jam before I moved here, but after a few disasters at first, it turns out OK now.

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    1. I like your style of cooking A. As long as your confident in cooking it will work.

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  4. I agree with you...jam should be "jammy"! I have always loved the strawberry jam I've made in the past (recipe sounds like yours)...alas I also love to eat it and since no one else has ever wanted it, I've always "had" to eat it all...soooooo...I no longer make SBJam! Here's hoping yours turns out delicious and you have no more syrupy give-aways in the morning!

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    1. I admit that since my "Back to Bodrum" adventure started, I've put on 4 kilos. It's not the jam, it's the scones that go under and the cream that goes on top

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  5. J always removes some of the syrup before it thickens and we get to indulge ourselves for a few weeks by pouring it over ice cream.

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  6. Your blog is nice and interesting :)
    ps: I would like the flag of your beautiful country on my website :))
    thank you
    http://www.yerhotel.com/Milano/ilario

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    1. Thank you - I hope the Turkish Flag has arrived.

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  7. Dear Bodrum, oh if only I were a cook who made jelly and preserves and jams and in general preserved food. I'm not, but I'd love to taste your strawberry jam! Peace.

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    1. I was a professional cook who never had the time to cook my own preserves so I'm making up for lost time.

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  8. Dear Bodrum,
    So aggree with you; you guys make the best jams and marmalades!! We have amazing strawberries now in England, and I must try your delicious recipe, thank you.

    I just did a blogpost,and showered you with some lovely awards!! Any excuse for recognition, it is a pleasure to read your posts. Here is the link, if you'd like to check out:
    http://ozlemsturkishtable.com/2012/05/fresh-delicious-and-fun-cooking-turkish-food-made-easy/

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  9. Thank you Ozlem. I always check out your new posts.

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  10. I'm jealous of all the summer fruits you're getting!! I'm a big fan of Turkish food too but never really take to the cakey borek.

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  11. Love this post...I always make my own jam. Hardly ever buy any anymore. Every year I make strawberry, peach, raspberry, plum jam and red pepper jelly. But your lucky because in Turkey everything is so fresh and home/grown. It's not too bad here in the summer b/c we are near the Niagara area and they have lots of farms still, which slowly are turning into wineries
    Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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