Brits love their puns and I’m cool that way so I think it fair to warn you that titles will include puns as often as possible.
All disclaimers aside, let’s get to the culinary core of it: I made jam.
It wasn’t the first time. I’d actually done it two Summers ago, when I first moved in to the house I’m inhabiting at the moment. I had intended to write about it, but then I got distracted and by the time I was reminded (read by the time I suddenly realised that the thing I remembered that I had forgotten) I felt as if too much time had passed. I even took pretty blackberry pictures.
This time round, I made strawberry jam and what the English like to call “marmalade”. According to wikipedia, the term “marmalade” in English refers to any preserve or jam made from citrus fruits. I call bollocks. To me marmalade means it came from “marmelo”, the Portuguese word for “quince”. Therefore, quince is essential to make marmalade. I would understand if marmalade had a similar consistency to “marmelada”—akin to a moist (hate the word moist…) turkish delight. However, since it does not, in fact, have any similarity to marmelada, I (irrationally) refuse to take the word “marmalade” seriously and, hence, begrudgingly use it to avoid confusion when conversing with any British individual.
To be honest, the only difference I found between “marmalade”- and jam-making was the use of dry-roasted peel slices in the process. This, I found, was what gave “marmalade” its trademark smell (I swear I could get high by sniffing those roasted peel slices).
But if we’re being completely honest, I referred to no text when preparing to make this. I simply relied on memory from my previous jam-making experience.
- In a pan, place the cut fruit and add just enough water to cover the fruit
- Add a peel of lemon and any spices you wish (I used cinnamon in the strawberry and cinnamon & nutmeg in the “marmalade”)
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer
- Allow the fruit however much time it needs to soften to a mulch
- Strain the now mulchy contents of the pan using a sieve or muslin (or any other appropriate filters you may have—no matter how thrifty you are feeling, a sock will not do. Go get muslin, it’s dirt cheap). You may keep the liquid filtrate to make syrup, if you so wish
- Take the degraded fruit and weigh it after removing the lemon peel and other solids added (e.g. cinnamon sticks)
- Replace the degraded fruit (I make it sound like it was abused… but what else can you call it when you boil and scrupulously weigh something?) in the pan and begin heating it—I prefer to keep it in a low heat, as this allows me to get distracted
- Weigh out the sugar in a 2:1 fruit-to-sugar mass ratio
- Slowly add the sugar to the degraded fruit while stirring. If making “marmalade”, this is also the time when you dump in the previously dry-roasted peel slices (that might be able to make you high)
- At some point, the jam will be done. I have no candy thermometer and I can’t tell if it’s done when using the refrigerated plate test. Trust your gut—it’s where the jam’s going to end up anyway…
- Put it in sterilized jars and seal with sterilized lids. Wait for it to cool down. Press the top of the lid to check for a vacuum seal. If it’s failed, there is another way to seal it, but I can’t be bothered to explain it.
I even went all DIY and made little, misspelled, not-very-good-at-veiling-my-disdain-at-the-use-of-marmalade-in-English labels.
For concluding remarks, I feel I should say that the strawberry jam was made somewhat blindly (i.e. I did not weigh the sugar) and it was delicious! I would also like to apologise for the lack of strawberry jam behind-the-scenes photos. Actually, why should I feel sorry? It’s my blog and I bow to no one. Plus, the strawberry jam was put at the top of the pyramid!
Note: I just found out that Pokémon White has a Pokégym that contains a series of roller coasters. How amazing is that?!
Note II: It even has loop-de-loops!