Friday, February 1, 2013

Toast Topper #17: Figgy Strawberry Jam

It's been a while since I've made jam for my mom. With the excitement and sheer amount of food the holidays provided us, we were concentrating on using up all the leftovers! Besides, the holiday season meant that nobody was going into work and taking lunches or snacks, so my mom's standard morning nosh wasn't needed.

Figgy Strawberry JamThen January 7th came around and everything reverted to more or less "normal". Soups were made, bread was baked and trail mixes were stirred for at least a few weeks of meals! I was still making use of the excess from 3 days of fruit platters, and figured jam would be a great "catch-all" recipe. With both fresh figs and strawberries from the trays, plus a few dried figs for interest, I had a Mediterranean-feeling vibe (plus I love figs). I decided to do a lower-sugar spread with Pomona's Pectin to help keep my mom's breakfasts and snacks lower on the guilt-meter, but I didn't want to just have mashed up fruit as flavour. Honey-like agave and exotically sweet vanilla sugar added a touch of needed sweetness, but I tossed in a dash of red wine, ginger and nutmeg too for a little extra oomph.

While I would have smeared this on shoe leather, my mom made herself some "fruit nachos" with homebaked pita and tortilla chips the weekend I made it for her obligatory "taste test". Needless to say, slices of homemade baguette and Lassy Beer Boule soon followed!

I'm sharing this with Gluten Free Fridays this week.

Figgy Strawberry Jam
Makes about 5 1/2 cups, 44 (2-tbsp) servings
930 g strawberries, chopped
4 fresh figs, diced
8 dried figs, soaked overnight in water and diced
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 tsp calcium water (see below)
1/4 cup amber agave nectar (or honey)
1 tbsp red wine
pinch salt
pinch nutmeg
Figgy Berry Jam1/2 cup vanilla sugar (or half and half vanilla sugar and regular sugar)
2 tsp pectin powder
  1. Mash the strawberries, figs and ginger together in a saucepan.
  2. Add the calcium water, honey and red wine into the pan and stir well.
  3. Measure sugar into separate bowl.
  4. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar.
  5. Bring fruit mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
  6. Add pectin-sugar, stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve pectin.
  7. Return to boil and remove from heat.
  8. Pour into jars and can in a waterbath for 10 minutes or refrigerate up to 4 weeks.
Calcium Water:
Pomona's comes with two packets - one of pectin and one of monocalcium phosphate. The calcium helps activate the pectin under low-sugar circumstances. To prepare calcium water mix the contents of the packet with 1/2 cup water in a jar and shake well. You only need 2-3 tsp per batch so store the rest in the jar in the fridge - it keeps a long time.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 33.8
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.7 mg
Total Carbs: 8.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 0.3 g