Minimalist Strawberry Jam: Two Ingredients + Pressure Cooker
This strawberry jam is not the same red-hot pectin-thickened sugar-filled jam you find in the grocery store. It’s better. It’s dark, tangy, sweet and intoxicatingly floral. These are strawberries in a classic little black dress, not sequins and feather boas.
The pressure cooker speeds up the whole jam-making process. No need to coax the juice out of the berries by macerating them in sugar overnight or constantly stir fruit vigilantly to help it reach the right texture. The pressure cooker does both of these steps in just two minutes.
All that is left, is the little extra work to get that pectin-free jam post pressure cooking – reduce the contents to jam consistency (or until they reach the magic temperature).
I’ve made pectin-free jam before following various recipes but I wanted to see how low I could go with the ingredient count while still keeping it interesting. Enter my favorite sweetener: honey. It adds sweetness and that special touch without resorting to the latest trend of adding the most improbable ingredients.
Curry powder? Chopped pistachios? Espresso grounds? No thanks!
Swirling this jam in my children’s morning yogurt did away with guilty visions of heaping cups piled with sugar and replaced them with images of strawberries floating in honey.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|6 L or larger||none||2 min.||High(2)||Natural|
- about 2 lbs (1k) strawberries, cored and halved
- about 1½ lbs (750g) honey (light color and mild flavor I used “Millefiori”)
- Place the pressure cooker on your scale and tumble in the trimmed strawberries. Note the weight ( 942g for this photographed recipe).
- Add ¾ of the weight in honey – you can use a calculator and multiply the weight your scale reads by .75. For example, for the 942 grams of strawberries used in this photographed recipe, we need just 707g of honey (942 x .075 = 706.5) – don’t worry this works just as well with ounces!
- Then, hit “Tar/0″ on your scale and pour in the honey until you reach the amount you calculated of honey.
- Put the cooker on low heat (keep warm mode for electric cookers) and stir occasionally until the honey has liquefied (about 3 minutes).
- Turn up the heat to high (saute or brown mode for electric cookers), and stirring occasionally wait for the contents to boil – it will look like white foamy bubbles bubbling around the strawberries.
- Quickly close and lock the lid. When the pressure cooker reaches pressure, turn down the heat and count just 2 minutes cooking time at HIGH pressure.
- When time is up, open the pressure cooker using the Natural Release method – move the cooker to a cold burner and don’t do anything and wait for the pressure to come down naturally. For electric pressure cookers, turn off the “keep warm” mode and unplug the cooker.
- Remove the lid and bring the contents back up to a boil on medium heat (saute or brown mode for electric cookers) until the mixture reaches 220F (105C) (or the appropriate temperature for your altitude as measured with a digital thermometer) – or passes your favorite “gelling test”. This step will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour hot jam into sterilized, or freshly dish-washed, jars. Carefully clean the edges and top with sterilized lids.
- Refrigerate for 4-6 weeks or process the jars in a hot water bath prepared in your pressure cooker (instructions in the pressure cooker lemon marmalade
- recipe) for 5 to 15 minutes (depending on your altitude).
- Yeild is about four 200ml (half-pint) jars