Strawberry Jam

Fresh tasting jam is easy to make, especially if you do a refrigerated recipe. It will keep for TWO MONTHS done this way. If long term is the goal, like enough to last till the 2017 strawberry season you’ll have to can it. This is not hard and is the way we do it here at home. It does take some time, so allow and afternoon for the making. Canning info is in basic cookbooks such as Joy of Cooking.

For 4 cups
3 pounds of ripe unblemished strawberries
Sugar – according to how sweet you want the jam you can use one cup per pound or as little as half a cup per pound. We like the full load.
Pectin – or better yet, a peeled and shredded granny smith apple. Leah Colins of Cook’s points out that a granny smith contains enough natural pectin to help the jam gel.
1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Taste to see how much you like.

Cut the large ones in half and crush the berries. Using a large pan add the berries and stir in the sugar, juice and the apple.
Bring to a boil and cook for 20 to 30 minutes stirring until the mixture is thick. Watch for boil overs when froth appears.

Ms. Colins tests her jam for thickness by placing some of the mixture on a plate she had in her freezer, Spoon a bit on the plate and freeze the mixture for 2 minutes. Drag your finger through the jam, If it’s runny, cook it for a minute or three and test again.

Cool jam for two hours or until cool all the way through. Jar and refrigerate until it sets up.

NOTE – this recipe does work if doubled. Just make two batches.

Strawberry Almond Scones

FOOD AND WINE – MARCH 2011

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 ¼ cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing
1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons raw sugar (turbinado) sugar if you’ve got it

Preheat oven to 400
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
In a large bowl combine the all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flours with the granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in the buttermilk and carefully fold in the strawberries

Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon make 16 mounds of dough on the baking sheets
Brush the scones with the reserved buttermilk and sprinkle on the sugar
Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the scones are golden and cooked through… shifting the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking.
Let the scones cool on a rack for 30 minutes

Strawberry Preserves

from THE GLORY OF SOUTHERN COOKING
Makes 4 ½ pints

James Villas has one the best Southern cookbooks out there. It’s full of tasty and easy to follow recipes.

The berries must be ripe and firm enough to withstand the boiling process. Allowing them to stand overnight cause them to plump up. You can put them up cold and seal with paraffin, which I find tedious, or reheat them in boiling water for ten minutes in sterilized jars so they seal. For optimum flavor, store 4 months before eating.

1 quart of fresh strawberries, hulled and washed
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of liquic pectin(Certo) – If you don’t mind the jam being somewhat runny, you can leave this out.

If the strawberries are large, cut them in half. In a large saucepan, combine the strawberries and 2 cups of sugar, bring slowly to a boil, and cook rapidly at a boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, and return to a boil, cooking 8 minutes longer, stirring in the lemon juice 2 minutes before removing the pan from the heat. Add the pectin, if using, skim off the foam, and let stand overnight, stirring when possible.

The next day, stirring constantly, bring the strawberries to and boil and remove immediately from the heat. Ladle into four ½ pints jars to within ¼ inch from the top and seal by whatever method you’ve picked. Store for 4 month. If you choose paraffin, I suggest you store them cold.

BIG BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Willams & Sonoma – The Kids Cookbook

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 6

8 tablespoons(1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 3 equal pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 2 teaspooons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried

Put the butter in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted, 1 or 2 minutes.
Using a pot holder remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat your over to 375 F. Line a standard 12 cup muffing pan with paper liners.

In a small mixing bow, combine the milk, egg and vanilla. Using the same folk, beat until well blended.

Add the mild mixture, melted butter and blueberries to the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatyla, stir gently until ingredients are just blended.

Spoon equal amounts of the batter into the muffing cups. Sprinkle the 2 teaspoon suger evenly over the tops.

Bake the muffins until they have risen and are golden 18 to 20 minutes. To test, insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done.

Using oven mitts, remove the muffin pan from the oven and place in on a wire cooking rack. Let the muffins cool for at least 15 minutes before removing them from the pan.

Gently turn the pan over, letting the muffins fall out onto the rack. Makes 12 muffins.

Fresh Strawberry Mousse

MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK – 4 to 6 servings

3 large eggs
1 quart of fresh strawberries
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons of Kirsch(cherry liqueur, or a similar fruity liqueur)
¼ teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
½ pint heavy cream (cold)

NOTE : The liqueur can be left out. It does enhance the flavor though.

Separate the eggs, covering tightly, allow them to come to room temperature. Wash and hull the strawberries. Place in a souch pan with honey, the kirsch, and the salt. Cover and cook 10 or 15 minutes over low heat.

Strain out some of the hot liquid and add it to the cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix until smooth, and return this paste to the strawberry mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Beat a spoonful of the hot strawberries into the egg yolks, then return the yolks to the strawberries. Beat with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the strawberry mixture. Chill for about 1/1/2 hours.

Whip the cream until it form stiff peaks and fold this into the chilled mousse. Refrigerate till set, about 2 hours or so. Garnish with whole strawberries and serve.