I don’t love Sunshine Strawberry Jame because it’s pectin-free. It’s not that I have anything against pectin.
It’s just that I’m always intrigued with recipes that would prove a useful addition to my repertoire should I not have all the ingredients on hand. Hopefully there will never come a time when I won’t have access to pectin but, as with learning to bake with wild yeast in the event commercially prepared yeast isn’t available, I like to be ready to face such circumstances.
Happily, this experiment is much sweeter than the sourdough ones of the past.
While it’s more technically more time consuming, this lovely jam thickens through the process of evaporation and how thick you desire it to be will determine how long you allow it to sit out. Bear in mind though that once you refrigerate the product, it will thicken up more.
Sunshine Strawberry Jam is just as simple to prepare as traditional strawberry jam. The sugar to berry ratio is lower as well which, of course, means a lower yield, but I think that many of us are willing to make that sacrifice to lower our sugar consumption while still being able to put up the berries for enjoying now and then throughout the year. I did try a Strawberry Honey jam recipe that I was pleased with this year, but didn’t get enough berries to see if this jam would set up with a honey substitute. If you’re of an experimental nature, by all means, give it a try.
Since strawberry season has come to a close for this year, save for the everbearing varieties, I might do some experimenting myself with other types of jams and jellies to see if they work as well as strawberries with this process.
For something different, try preserving the berries sliced to prepare as a lovely cheesecake topping.
Sunshine Strawberry Jam
- 8 cups strawberries (2 quarts), sliced or crushed
- 4 cups sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- Combine berries & sugar in a stockpot and let stand for two hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add the lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and boil, uncovered, for ten minutes.
- Pour into two 9x13 baking dishes.
- Cover with a screen that will allow for evaporation yet prevent insects from gaining access. Alternately, set the dishes in an automobile, provided you aren't going anywhere, so there aren't any worries about weather or insects.
- Allow to sit and evaporate for 2-3 days.
- Ladle into clean mason jars, cover with a new lid and clean ring.
- Standards for water bath canning of strawberry jam call for lowering into boiling water for 10 minutes.