Last weekend, my husband and I set off to go strawberry picking in Markham. We went from one farm to another, only to discover that they no longer exist. The land has been sold to housing developers. Good-bye agriculture!
We were really hoping to pick our own strawberries, however, the one farm we found that still allows you to do so, had been closed to the public that day and selling from their fruit stand along the roadside. We ended up purchasing 2 flats at $23.00 each.
When making jam, I'm not one to use pectin or any other type of thickener aside from sugar. I like making jam the old fashioned way. The boiling time takes a little longer, that's for sure, but at least I'm not using something out of a box containing ingredients I've never heard of.
When making this jam, I followed the 'for every 2 lbs of strawberries, add 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water' method. Since I made a bigger batch, I just cut back a bit on the sugar and water and that's just due to personal taste.
In the past, I've always just slowly brought a large pot-full of strawberries plus one cup of sugar and one cup of water to a boil, slowly stirring in more sugar to thicken the juices as the strawberries simmer for hours. The problem with this method is that I don't measure the weight of the strawberries nor do I take note of the amount of sugar added. This method may be time consuming, but it sure does make for the most tastiest jam ever.
Since it's going to be a few weeks before cherry season arrives, I'm thinking of experimenting with alternative sweeteners. I plan to work with small batches of strawberries to see what works best. I'd like to find a better alternative to white sugar. Perhaps natural honey or agave would work. Any suggestions?
For every 2 lbs of Strawberries, add 2 cups Sugar and 1 cup Water
1. Bring to a slow boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
2. Skim foam from top and discard.
3. Ready when thickened to your liking. (The longer it simmers, the thicker it gets).
4. Add a splash of lemon to remove any bitterness.
5. Sterilize jars (dishwasher).
6. Fill jars with strawberries and place into a pot of hot boiled water to seal the jars closed.