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Thursday, June 13, 2024

The secret ingredient grandmothers used to add to strawberry jam for a more intense flavor

Strawberry jam is a delicious treat that’s especially good fresh in early summer, when strawberries are in season. Even if you’ve made this treat several times, it’s always a good idea to improve the recipe each year.

There’s a clever secret that helps give strawberry jam a special flavor and keep it fresh for longer.

What’s the secret ingredient for strawberry jam?

Strawberry jam fully keeps the fragrance of the exquisite berries, and is an ideal way to preserve their delicious taste for the winter.

The main difference between jam and marmalade lies in the consistency: in jam, the fruit is either whole or cut into larger pieces, while marmalade has a smooth, even texture. The amount of sugar used can also vary, marmalade generally being much sweeter than jam.

Our grandmothers had a secret when it came to its preparation, and that was to add about 50 ml of lemon juice to every kilogram of fruit. This trick helps to extend the shelf life of the jam, as lemon acts as a natural preservative and lemon juice has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which help to maintain freshness but also prevent the jam from fermenting.

How to make strawberry jam just like grandma

Wash the strawberries under cold running water to clean them of impurities and pesticides, making sure not to crush them. Then break off the strawberry stems, but don’t cut up the fruit. Place the strawberries in a large enough bowl and pour the sugar over them. Make sure that the sugar is evenly distributed over the fruit.

Cover the bowl with the strawberries and sugar and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. This resting time will allow the strawberries to let out juice and form a delicious syrup.

The next day, place the strawberries and syrup in a pot and simmer the mixture over low heat. Be sure to use a pot large enough to prevent the syrup from spilling during boiling.

Remove the foam that forms on top of the pot with a teaspoon, as it is formed from impurities and must be removed for a pure sweetness. While the jam is boiling, be sure to stir occasionally to avoid the jam burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot. Let the strawberries simmer until the syrup is reduced to half of its original volume.

When the jam has reached half the original amount and the strawberries are soft and tender, add lemon juice to intensify the flavor but also to help preserve the jam. Stir well and turn off the heat. Before filling the jars, wash them well and sterilize either by boiling in water for a few minutes or by submerging in boiling water for a few seconds.

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