Back in Sweden, suitcases still to unpack and a pile of work to do, I could not resist buying the first (for me at least) Swedish strawberries of the season and make them into jam.
Swedish strawberries arrive later than other varieties, and are far sweeter and juicer than any strawberry I have ever had. Some say that this is due to the chilly Swedish spring which makes for a slow ripening and concentrates the flavor. Whatever the reason, I thrive in Swedish berries, and strawberries come first. Lot of canning to do this summer.
This is my own interpretation of strawberry jam. Instead of chemicals it uses lemon juice to increase acidity (bacteria do not like acid environments) and algae (agar-agar) for thickening. Only a small amount of sugar (fruit content 80%) is needed. Also, having fridges and freezers at hand, we can save ourselves the hassle of the traditional long cooking and complicated canning, and spare more of the nutritional value of the fruit. Vitamin C is in fact destroyed after 15 minutes of cooking. So here you go, 10-minutes low-sugar strawberry jam.
680g strawberries (4 1/2 cups)
150g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon agar-agar
1 vanilla pod (or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Prepare the strawberries: wash and rinse them and cut in medium-small pieces
Cook: place in a pot and add the sugar. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Stir a couple of times, then wait until a light foam forms and remove it with a skimmer. Cook for no more than 10 minutes, counting from the moment the strawberries boil. On the last two minutes of cooking, add the agar-agar and the lemon and stir. Put the seeds of the vanilla pod in the jam or add the vanilla extract and stir.
Can: as you want. This jam can be stored for 1-2 weeks in a air-tight container in the fridge, or stored for up to 1 year in the freezer. I generally save 1 jar for the fridge, and the rest I divide among small plastic containers which I then freeze. Once unfrozen, the jam is good to eat for one week, kept in the fridge.
Sending this jam to Made With Love Mondays hosted by Mark from Javelin Warriors Cookin w/Luv.