I made jam! I also made scones but today I am talking about jam because I'm feeling pretty passionate about it.
Okay so it really isn't that hard and I realize now that it probably isn't as big of a deal as I am making it out to be. But I'm really excited about this! I knew how to make what my family calls 'strawberry sauce' which we drizzle on cheesecake. BUT I wanted to know how to make the Bonne Maman style jam that sets like gelatin (weird thought) in the little jar.
Anyway, I was watching the show Victorian Farm where historian Ruth Goodman explains that the Victorians used to utilize apple peels and cores for their pectin. It inspired me to try it myself!
Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants (I got that from wikipedia). It also helps in the preservation process. In the Victorian Era (Jun 20, 1837 – Jan 22, 1901) this would have been a huge concern. I think it's really cool to learn about practical historical methods that we can use today. Not only is it awesome to try a new way of doing things BUT it is also likely more eco friendly which I think is great.
It's also necessary because it is used as a thickening agent, so basically it gets the jam to set nicely. The problem is that while some fruit -like apples- contain a lot of pectin, some contain small amounts and need it to be added in order to set correctly. You can buy pectin at the store in powdered form and add it to your fruit/sugar/water mixture in order to make jam that sets. But I wanted to try this way, after all it consumes less and it's less processed which I like.
I tried it out about a week ago and decided to do it again because the strawberries at my local grocery store were on super sale.
Here's my recipe!
3 cups fresh cleaned strawberries
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cut apples and cores
2 cups of water
- First combine the apples and the water in a pot and turn the flame to low
- Let them simmer for about an hour
- Take apple slices and cores out of water and throw away (or compost!) making sure to keep the water in the pot. (The pectin is released when the apples and water heat up)
- Add sugar and strawberries
- Stir every 10 minutes for 50 minutes