Simplest Jam made with Exotic Ingredients
When I was little, one of my favorite treats were fresh pineapple. A pineapple is a seasonal fruit in India so finding ways to preserve it for rest of the year was quite natural. The obvious was Pineapple Jam; still my most favorite!
I like it crunchy and not spreadable like store bought ones. So I prefer not to blend it. If you plan to keep it for longer which is so hard since it’s so tempting, you can use some preservative. But for me simple sugar syrup works best. Many recipes ask for adding water which inherently needs some preservative, at least lemon and that also means a way more sugar than my simple recipe. Also I tend to cook it lesser than usual so it still maintains the juices. The only trick is to use perfectly ripe pineapple with no green skin.
I use s pinch of spices and also saffron which add a whole new dimension to this flavorful fruit. Try it on a hot toast with some butter and you will fall in love with it.
Homemade Pineapple Jam
Preserving summer bounty in a jar cannot be simpler
- To peel the skin off a pineapple, first chop off the top green crown and also slice off its bottom so that it stands straight on your chopping board.
- Peel off the skin with a sharp knife. You can make deep cuts to remove the black parts called 'eyes' or remove them separately.
- Now make rectangular slices by carefully avoiding the middle tough part. Don't use it, it's hard to digest.
- Chop it nicely and and put them in a medium sauce pan.
- On a medium heat, let them saute for a minute or so.
- Now add sugar and mix well.
- Let it come to a boil and them simmer for couple of minutes.
- Once done, turn off the heat and add cardamom powder and saffron. Mix well.
- Let it cool down completely, so not cover it else the steam will add unwanted moisture.
- Once cooled down, store it in a dry glass jar and keep it refrigerated. It lasts up to 6 weeks.
[Update] A jar full of love and flavor, perfect to send with kids at hostel., sending it to Kid’s Delight – Back to Hostelspecial event started by Srivalli
It was one o’ clock and I had almost finished my shopping at the farmer’s market. I stopped at a stall which had only two big boxes of fresh organic strawberries and the seller was happily offering them at half the price. I instantly grabbed one box and started thinking of how to preserve these summer treats. There wouldn’t be a better way than fresh homemade strawberry jam! I returned home with the big box in my hands and a big smile 🙂
Fresh Strawberry Jam
All natural with NO preservatives and NO high fructose corn syrup!
- After you wash the strawberries, make sure you pat them completely dry. This is very important to preserve the jam for longer time.
- Hull the strawberries, that means remove the stem and green parts and chope them into quarters or smaller pieces.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, mix strawberries with sugar and crush them lightly with a fork. Leave them for half and hour so that sugar dissolves in the resulting juice. (This step is optional)
- I like to add 4-5 cloves but feel free to skip them. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- On a medium flame, let the mixture cook until it starts boiling. Stir the mixture periodically.
- Let it boil for 15-20 minutes, uncovered; until all moisture evaporates and it starts thickening up.
- You have to make sure it's completely cooled down before you pour it into a jar. Do not put the lid until the jam is completely cooled. Else the moisture will spoil all the efforts.
- At every step, you have to make sure there is no water content.
- The glass jar you use for storing the jam has to be completely dry.
- I did not sterilize the jar but if you want you can follow the directions here. I washed the jar and let it dry in the sunlight. At home, we used the same trick for the jars used to store pickles.
- I added only 1 1/2 cups of sugar because the the strawberries I used were really sweet and I like it on a slightly tangier side, so adjust the quantity accordingly.
- Keep it refrigerated if you wish to preserve it for longer time.
I look at Jam as a way to preserve summer in a jar 😛 Every summer my mom used to make mango jam at home. She did the same thing with strawberries last summer and now I am following her tradition with yet another awesome superfood of this planet – blueberries.
2 pounds fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice
That’s it. Wash blueberries and let them dry completely. No need to chop blueberries, they are so tender they break down easily once heated.
In a sauce pan, mix blueberries and sugar and mix it well till the mixture comes to a boil. You can reduce it further but I like it to keep it at this consistency. This is also call ‘blueberry compote’ and can be used as blueberry spread for bread, syrup for pancakes or yogurt, combinations are endless!
Once the mixture cools down, add lemon juice and keep it in a glass jar in your refrigerator.
Blueberry Jam In Progress – Finally the reward with greek yogurt and blueberry smoothie!