Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Older chests

Not too bad second attempt. 

My grandmother knows how to make things last. I have heard them retell countless times how once a year everyone came to the farm to aid in slaughtering a cow and then using all of its parts, even cooking the fat with something to make soap. Somehow the Afrikaner legacy of preserving food gets passed on through the generations and when I see an abundance of fruit for a cheap price, knowing full and well that I can't eat it, I'll purchase it.

This Watermelon-Strawberry Jam is a result of one such impulse. During the summer strawberries were abundant at the farmers' market and I still has some frozen watermelon in the freezer from my birthday party. Not one to throw anything away needlessly, I figured why not make strawberry watermelon jam?! The problem was that both do not contain enough pectin (I think) on their own to ensure that the jam thickens.

So I dialed my grandmother, some 14 000 km away, and asked what I should do. Sadly, she misunderstood what I wanted to do and proceeded to explain how to make Waatlemoen konfyt (Watermelon jam made from the white rind). Then I tried Google, but to no avail.

In the end this is more error than trial, but it worked out quite well:

6 cups  watermelon juice
5 cups strawberries (650g), washed and hulled
1kg Gelierzucker (jam sugar with added citric acid and pectin available in Germany)
500g Stevia Gelierzucker
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

- Place a plate in the freezer to later test if the jam is ready.
- I first cooked the frozen watermelon slowly just to thaw it and then sieved it to just get the juice.
- Then wash and cut the strawberries, and add them to the watermelon juice. It is best to use the biggest pot you have to prevent the whole thing from boiling over.
- Add all the sugars and the lemon juice, the slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Turn down the heat and let it boil on a medium heat (about 15min in my case). To test whether the jam is ready put a tiny bit on the plate that was in the freezer. If it jellifies after a few minutes it is ready.

Hah, now for all the fails in this recipe:
- the jam jellified, but then did not when all of it was in jars and ready to be given as presents.
- the strawberry chunks also looked weird.
- I went back to the store and bought a 500g packet of Stevia Gelierzucker because it has less calories and I thought well, there is already a boatload of sugar in it.
- For next time I'll just immediately use 2 kg of normal Gelierzucker (no Stevia, no normal sugar) and that should do the trick.

Botched first attempt.

No comments:

Post a Comment