Hi, I’m Allison. I am very excited to be a guest contributor here at Foodwhirl. I have been a fan of the site for some time. As this is my first post, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I have a website called Radishes and Rhubarb where I focus on all things fresh, local and homemade. I live in Toronto, Canada. When I am not writing about food I can usually be found at the farmer’s market or in the kitchen. I am fortunate to live in an area that has great local food resources, so I wanted to create a site that would showcase all of the wonderful foods we have available in the city and hopefully inspire others with the recipes I feature in my posts.
What do you do when you come across the first strawberries of the season at your local farmer’s market? Make strawberry jam, of course.
I set out for the market on Saturday morning determined to find something that would serve as inspiration for my first official post at Foodwhirl. I intended to make a summer recipe so I hoped I might come across some lovely asparagus or rhubarb that could serve as my muse.
What I never expected to find was local strawberries, but there they were, at least three weeks ahead of schedule. Around here we usually don’t see strawberries until the end of June, but the warm weather evidently jump-started the season. They were so fresh that I could actually smell them before I saw them. I bought two quarts and took them straight home.
I wanted to make the most of my find so I decided to make No-Cook Strawberry Jam. The good thing about this recipe is you need less than 2 cups of strawberries to make a batch, so I had more than enough. Plus, it is such an easy way to make jam. No boiling, no sterilizing and ready in about a half an hour.
The sugar content is higher than regular cooked jam, so I only make a little bit each season, but the flavour is amazing. For me, the no-cook (or freezer) jam, is just like sunshine in a jar. It captures the flavour of the fresh berries better than the traditional cooked jam. Plus, it lasts in your freezer for up to 8 months, so in the depths of winter, you can open a jar and have a little bit of summer with your morning toast.
Once I had my jam made, I needed to find a proper use for it. I opted to spoon it over some vanilla ice cream and add a few slices of fresh berries. Then, I sat on my front porch and enjoyed my first bowl of summer sunshine!
No-Cook Strawberry Jam
This recipe is the one that comes inside the box of Certo Liquid Pectin. When making jam be sure to follow the directions in whatever pectin product you choose as all are a little different. I like the Certo liquid version, particularly for the no-cook jams, because it mixes up easily but there are other equally good pectins available on the market.
1 ¾ cups crushed fresh strawberries
4 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch Certo liquid pectin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Crush your strawberries with a potato masher. Do not use a food processor as the berries will be chopped too fine. Once crushed, measure 1 ¾ cups of the berries using a liquid volume measuring cup. Pour the berries into a medium bowl and add the 4 cups of sugar. Stir the berries and sugar until combined. Let stand 10 minutes. Add the liquid pectin and lemon juice. Stir for 3 minutes. Pour into clean 1 cup jars, leaving ¼ inch of space from the rim. Cover tightly with the lids. Let stand 24 hrs at room temperature and then move the jam jars to your freezer. Jam can be kept up to 8 months unopened in the freezer or up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator once opened. Do not store at room temperature. Enjoy!