I had the best intentions, you ought to know that. Life has been hectic as usual (surprise surprise) with the occasional getaway (you may read about in a future post) and yet we managed to head east to Johanniskirchen and pick our own strawberries. Loads of wonderful plump cuties, more than five kilograms to be precise. My berry plans included cakes, ice cream, many glasses of homemade strawberry jam and of course my favorite, strawberries with freshly whipped cream. The cake barely lasted two hours (ok, we had guests, too), the ice cream (strawberry-coconut) no longer then ten minutes and the bowls of strawberries with cream hardly five. To my relief there are still a few jars of strawberry jam to accompany us through the next months!
Jam making certainly is a lot of fun and having had countless jam sessions in the past together with my grandma, I wouldn’t consider myself a novice anymore. Yet, my dilemma started with this video, featuring June Taylor, and this discussion (in German though) on Kaltmamsell’s blog. Making jam with regular sugar, no artificial citric acid or pectin added, was this possible for strawberry jam as strawberries are naturally low in acid and pectin?
I was intrigued, tried different recipes, but succeeded only partially: recipe number one consisted of strawberries, lemon juice (acid), grated apple skin (pectin) and sugar, was cooked 30 minutes with the remaining lemon parts (pectin) after juicing and set – but not as much as i would have liked it to. On the other hand I didn’t want to exceed the cooking time much longer due to a potential color loss. Hm. OK, let’s give it another shot. Recipe number two had additional freshly squeezed red currant juice (more pectin) to it, but still didn’t set as firm as I would have liked it to. Errr. Now I’m about to borrow a copper pot and see what happens next… any tips?
And because I wasn’t exactly satisfied with my kitchen output I headed to the park and cut some incredibly fragrant elderflowers for some more cordial. If you haven’t done this yet and live in the northern hemisphere, hurry up, you still might have a chance to pick some blossoms. Yes, your kitchen will end up pretty sticky, but the bottled syrup will make up for it for the rest of the year – easily! Tune in next week for either a Spanish recipe from our friend Carlos or a souvenir from Budapest, still undecided, we’ll see…