O-M-G! She's keeping her word *again!* QT is posting yet another Jam Recipe!!! (Or has she gone completely mad, I wonder?) (That's a rhetorical question!!!)
Anyway... As I'd mentioned yesterday, I encountered a young man selling flats of Strawberries on the street corner. I also ran over to the Farm-Stand and procured two baskets of fresh figs. I figured I'd spend my Day-Off accomplishing all sorts of Good Deeds and, well, I *did* at least manage to put-up a batch of jam.
Although note to self: When one procures fresh strawberries from strangers on a street corner, one *really* should plan on utilizing them on the day of purchase. Reason being: I believe the reason that they are offered at road-side is because they are EXTREMELY ripe. Not over-ripe - but just a little *too* ripe for shipping to the grocery stores (Meaning: By the time they made it from the truck, to the store, then out to the produce section, they'd no longer be sellable). They really are Super-Sweet and delicious - they've just got a really short shelf-life :::sigh:::
Nevertheless, I did start the jam this morning. I ended up dumping about half of the flat, but that was fine (RolyPig, the composter, will be happy!). I had thought I'd use the excess strawberries for a batch of freezer jam - but "Oh, well!"
Anyhooooo... First off: Props to pickyourown.org for posting this recipe - along with detailed instructions. I didn't follow the recipe exactly - for starters, I didn't have enough figs to make a 50/50 mix - but what I ended up with is *quite* delicious!
QT's Low-Sugar Strawberry Fig Jam
- 4 cups of freshly mashed Strawberries
- 2 cups of coarsely-chopped, mostly skinned, fresh figs
- 1/8 cup Lemon Juice (again, I just used the bottled stuff from the store)
- 3/4 cup granulated Sugar
- 1 cup Splenda
- 1 package (1.75 oz) Sure-Jell No-Sugar Needed Pectin
First, rinse all the fruit. Then drizzle about half of the Lemon Juice in a bowl. Then cut the tops off the figs and attempt to peel them. The original recipe said it wasn't necessary (and I wasn't super "anal" about getting *all* of the skins off), but I think it just looks better with the skins removed. Coarsely chop the figs into the bowl with the lemon juice. Drizzle the lemon juice over the fig chunks as you go 'til you've added the entire 1/8 cup...
End up with this:
A bowl of chopped, mostly-de-skinned figs
Then hack the tops off the strawberries and start slicing them into a separate bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, as you go. The sugar helps the strawberries start to "sweat." I've found that you really do need just a *bit* of Sugar because Splenda doesn't facilitate the "sweating" process nearly as well...
So, chop-chop-chop, sprinkle-sprinkle-sprinkle 'til you've run out of strawberries and sugar. End up with this:
Sparkly, sprinkly, sweaty strawberries
Then grab a masher and start mashing the strawberries. Like thus:
I mushed 'em 'til they were all glorpy and goozy, but still had some recognizable chunks. My bowl has little measuring lines on the inside, so I ended up adding a few more strawberries 'til I was sure I had 4 cups of gooze:
Then, dump the strawberry gooze into the bowl of figs and stir it up:
It's, like, interracial! Yes, we Embrace Diversity here!
Then dump the whole mess into a pot and start to heat it up. While the pot was heating, I dumped the package of Pectin into a bowl with the 1 cup of Splenda, mixed it up dry, then dumped that into the pot with the fruit.
Once again, the dogs were crestfallen!
We be DONE!
Fill your hot, sterilized jars, yada-yada... And TODAY I learned something *new!* (Too late for this batch, unfortunately!). After you've filled your jars, but before you slap the caps on, let the jam "rest" for 5 minutes and give it a good stir - *then* clean your rims and slap the tops and rings on. Reason being: If you don't stir the jam this second time, the fruit will tend to rise to the top (especially true with Splenda and/or No-Sugar jams). It doesn't affect the flavor, but it does look kinda weird. (My Peach Jam did the floaty thing - but I just stirred it after I opened it and put it in the fridge).
Anyway.... Process the jars in your canner for 10 minutes. Let 'em rest for 24 hours. Make sure the lids are sealed, then call it DONE!
Today I got 4 @ 12 oz. jars of jam
There was a teensy bit leftover, which I schlorped into an 8 oz jar and just tossed it straight in the fridge...
I gotta tellya - this stuff is WONDERFUL! It is sweet, and thick, and it has a teensy bit of "tang" to it. Absolutely delicious!
So there it is!
Peaches are still ripening like crazy (I think I will make a pie tomorrow). 'Maters seem to be slowing down - a bit (temps have been close to 90*'s lately), but I suspect I'll be smashing some more sauce very soon...