Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recipe: Strawberry Freezer Jam with Moscato Wine

So my Droid has been totally p*ssing me off lately with it's antics. Camera keeps locking up, forcing me to reboot, and causing me to exhibit signs of Tourette Syndrome (more specifically, coprolalia)! (And no, I am not afflicted - but the Droid Camera can drive me to that!)

Yeah, I dragged out the "real" camera, *and* found the USB cable, *and* fired-up Picasa so today you'll be treated to DECENT pictures! (Not great... But definitely an improvement!).

Yesterday's Farm Share delivery included a small 8 oz. basket of fresh, organic strawberries (Yummm!). And my side-trip to the grocery store netted me two add'l 16 oz. baskets of (not-so organic) strawberries. But they're all local, so It's All Good!

Awhile back, I'd found a recipe for Strawberry Freezer Jam with Moscato Wine. This was "Back in the Olden Days" - before Pinterest - and I had emailed it to myself. Took a little digging, but I found it and I did, in fact, add it to my Pinterest board.

Well, tonight, I decided to make it - before I scarfed-down all the strawberries ('til I made myself sick!!!).

Original Recipe here. But, once again, I am trying to trim the carbs as much as I can, so I tweaked it.

To be honest, these strawberries (being SUPER early in the season) aren't quite as sweet as I'd like, so I did have to go kind of "heavy" on the Splenda (and I think I might start experimenting with Stevia at some point, actually). Normally, I don't care for super-sweet jams - preferring to let the fruit's natural sweetness take center stage - but this particular batch needed a little extra "Oomph!"

Mid-Summer strawberries will be a WHOLE lot sweeter, so if you choose to attempt this recipe, I'd suggest going light on the sweetener initially - then adjust as you see fit.

Nevertheless, I am pretty pleased with the end result. So I'm posting *my* version of the recipe here.

QT's Low(er)-Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam with Moscato Wine

Yield: Appx 4-5 half-pints of jam

  • appx 2 x 16oz. tubs of fresh strawberries (you want to end up with appx 4 cups, crushed)
  • 2-3 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 187ml mini-bottle of Moscato Wine - sweet dessert wine (original recipe called for 3/4 cup - I ended up using the whole bottle)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup (+ appx 2-3 TBS) Splenda
  • 5-6 Tbs Instant Pectin (I used Ball brand - comes in a 4.7oz jar. No clue how many "envelopes" you'd need. Prob'ly 1-1/2 - 2 envelopes)
  1. Rinse the strawberries. Chop off the tops and remove the cores.
  2. Slice thinly and dump them into a large bowl. Sprinkle granulated sugar on the slices, as you go (the sugar helps them start "sweating" - Splenda doesn't work as well)
  3. Keep slicing and sprinkling 'til you have appx 4 cups.
  4. Grab a potato masher and lightly squish 'em. You don't want to obliterate them - you'll want to keep some recognizable strawberry chunks - but you do want them *fairly* mushy so they give-up their juice!
  5. When you squish them, you'll end up with less than 4 cups. Hopefully you've still got more whole strawberries so go back to slicing, then squish again. Stop when you've got 4 cups.
  6. Measure out 3/4 cup of Moscato Wine. This was, basically, almost the entire single-serve bottle and - since I was already drinking a margarita - I opted to pour the entire bottle into the jam!
  7. Add in 1/4 cup of honey
  8. Stir it up.
  9. Measure 1/4 cup of Splenda and 4-5 Tbs of pectin into a separate container. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly with a fork, then dump it into the winey-honey-strawberry soup. Mix thoroughly.
  10. Taste test it and add more sweetener, if needed. (Like I say, if these were mid-summer strawberries, I doubt it would need more. In fact, I might even *stop* at the honey stage!)
  11. Pour the jam into 1/2 pint jars, leaving 1/2" head-space. Using a ladle and funnel helps cut-down on the clean-up!
  12. Let the jam set-up at room temperature for appx 30 minutes, then label and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Pretty Pictures!

Mmmm! Fresh Strawberries!
(and single-serve bottle of wine in the background)

Sliced strawberries with sugar
(Note: This bowl is a little on the small side. Go bigger if you don't want a bloody mess!)

Smashing the strawberries into soup!

All done!

Yep. This is a very tasty twist on Strawberry Freezer Jam. To be honest, I'm glad I used a little extra Moscato because you can taste "just a hint" of it. It really is *quite* tasty!

This only took appx 20 minutes to throw together so if you've got access to fresh strawberries, you have NO EXCUSE! Go and make a batch of this jam! You'll be glad you did!!!

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