Its strawberry season! I absolutely adore any kind of berries. I add them to my smoothies, salads, dessert, and to make salsa, gazpacho, sauces etc. etc. I am known to basically go crazy during berry season hoarding them like there’s no tomorrow 😀 In India especially, I don’t get other berries except for strawberries, freshly harvested. Other berries like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries etc. are usually imported and sold in their frozen state. The frozen ones are typically available throughout the year, and in summer we get really good quality fruit. Since I try to eat local and seasonal produce as much as I can, I buy berries whenever they’re in season in India. Occasionally, I buy frozen berries whenever I feel the craving to eat them.
Apart from the fact that berries are super fruits with great health benefits, they have a great sweet-tart taste that is fantastic in so many dishes. One great way of preserving large amounts of berries is to make a sauce, jam or preserve, and just freeze them until you need them. I found myself having some leftover cranberries, 2 pomegranates that needed to be used, and one box of strawberries. I decided to use up a portion of these fruits by making a preserve 🙂 This is really quick, uses no additives or preservatives to thicken the jam, and takes all of 30 minutes to make. It is lovely slathered on toast with some butter, on scones, with some chilled yoghurt as dessert, on top of pancakes, added to flavor buttercream, to ice cream, to cookie batter, or even blitzed with some yoghurt to make really tasty berry lassi!! THIS IS SO YUM 😀 🙂
- Pomegranate – 1 (ruby red variety, arils removed).
- Strawberries – 10, ripe, washed and cut into quarters
- Cranberries – about 20, ripe, washed.
- Sugar – 3/4 cup (use only 1/2 cup if your fruits are really sweet)
- Orange juice – 1/2 cup (use fresh or bottled)
- Take your strawberries and cranberries in a saucepan.
- Add the pomegranate arils as well.
- Add sugar.
- Mix well until all fruits are coated with sugar.
- Add orange juice. Bring to a boil on medium flame while stirring gently.
- Simmer on low flame now, for 20-25 minutes, until the fruits have lost their individual shapes and come together into a jam-like substance.
After 20-25 minutes, this is what it will look like. Don’t worry about the foam on top, once the jam cools down and you give it a mix, it will disappear.
Allow the jam to cool down, for about an hour, before bottling it in a clean and dry airtight plastic or glass container.
Do try it and let us know how it went !! 🙂
TIPS & TWEAKS
- Feel free to add other berries or red fruit to this jam.
- Jam will thicken further upon cooling in the refrigerator as well.
- I did not filter the jam through a sieve because I did not want to lose the pomegranate arils, and I prefer some whole fruit in my jam.
- If you don’t prefer this, don’t add the pomegranate directly to the saucepan. Instead, grind the pomegranate, filter out the juice and then add that to the other fruits. Then follow the same steps to make jam.
- Always use a clean and dry spoon while taking jam out of the container.
- This will stay good for upto two-three weeks in the refrigerator.