Monday, June 28, 2010

Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam

strawspread1I am a newbie to jams, jellies and preserves.  I know there are technical differences between the three.  I've shied away from making full blown jellies and jams because of all of the sugar involved.  I try to keep the sugar down in my recipes and combining equal parts of fruit and sugar just seemed, well, excessive. I had two bags of strawberries in the freezer that had been in the freezer for 2 years  way too long.   So I went searching through recipes for reduced sugar jams and preserves.  I took those strawberries, thawed them and then started concocting.

I had concocted my strawberry stuff, then I had to figure out what category of preserved fruit it fell into.  According to Wikipedia's article on fruit preserves, my concotion could be considered a confit (fruit or vegetables which have been seasoned and cooked with honey or sugar until it has reached a jam-like consistency) or a jam (cooked and gelled fruit  purees).

So, here's what I did and my finished Confit-Jam was delicious on biscuits for breakfast thisstrawspread2morning.  The strawberry flavor comes through richly and it is sweet enough without the berry flavor being overpowered by the sugar.  It is spreadable with a knife but thin enough that I have ideas about using it for ice cream topping.  I think this versatile treat is going to have many uses in my kitchen.  I opted to freeze the excess as I didn't have the supplies on hand to can the jars - that and I wasn't sure if they were can-able since they had reduced sugar.

Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam-Spread

6 cups frozen Strawberries (thawed with juice)
2 cups sugar
1 pkt Unflavored Gelatin


1.  Puree strawberries and juice.
2.  Place in heavy pot over medium high heat until fruit comes to a boil.
3.  remove 1 cup of boiling liquid, add gelatin and stir until gelatin powder dissolves and return it to the boiling mixture
4.  Add sugar and let mixture continue at a rolling boil about 30 minutes
5.  Allow to cool briefly and then pour into jars or other freezer safe containers.
Recipe yields about 5 cups of spread.

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