Preservation: Strawberry Jam

I have chosen to preserve fresh strawberries into strawberry jam for this blog. I have never made strawberry jam or even preserved anything before so this will be a great learning experience for me.

Back in the 1st century AD, the first recipe for jam appeared in the cookbook “De Re Coquinaria (The Art of Cooking)”. It was basically soft fruit that was heated with honey, cooled, then stored. Since then, jam has had many applications from helping aid sailors and pirates from scurvy, feeding the hungry in WWII and even finishing every meal for Louis XIV. Nowadays, it is a staple for kids and adults alike who wish to enjoy a nice PB&J.

The strawberry contains pectin which will act as a thickener in the jam by creating a sort of gel. Sugar not only adds sweetness to the jam, but allows the pectin to form the gel. Lemon juice (acid) is added because it also aids the pectin to bond to itself and create a nice gel. Since strawberries have a low acid content, lemon juice is used to help the gelling process. Being such an effective way of preservation, jam could last for a very long time and is still being made today for that very reason.

Strawberry Jam Recipe

Processing the Strawberries

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finished Strawberry Jam

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Senses

  • Taste – Very sweet with a mild tartness.
  • Smell – Strong aroma of sugar and strawberries. Both during cooking and when jarred.
  • Sight – Depending on lighting, a dark-red, almost purple colour. Visibly looked very gel-like in consistency.
  • Hearing – Running a spoon through the jam, I could hear an almost slush-like sound.
  • Touch – Thick and jelly feeling. Spreads really nicely on toast as it is smooth and doesn’t have huge chunks.

Conclusion

In general, I think making my jam was a success. Especially for my first time making it. It tasted just as good as store bought jams without any added chemicals. The texture, flavour and even the smell were above my expectations.

As for the shortcomings, I think I could have done more research about the inclusion of bubbles in my jar. I wasn’t aware that air bubbles could be a sign of a poor seal. I had very minimal air bubbles in a couple of my jars and my seals felt very strong. I could hold the jars from the lid and it wouldn’t break off. In my case, I think it will be okay, but I will continue to do more research.

In the future, I will try making jam again with other various fruits and even a mixture of them. I never realized how simple it was to make a great jam and I will definitely make some more in the future.

References

Hudson, V. (2016, October 21). Jam: A beautifully preserved history. Retrieved from https://life.spectator.co.uk/2016/10/jam-beautifully-preserved-history/
Ozimek, S. (2015, September 28). Preserving Fruit: Jam Basics • Curious Cuisiniere. Retrieved from https://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/preserving-fruit-jam-basics/

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s