17 June 2012

For Safekeeping: Strawberry Jam & Pie Dough

Low-ish Sugar Strawberry Jam

1 4lb bag really sour granny smith apples
8 L of fresh picked strawberries (because for anything else it just isn't worth the effort)
1 orange (or grapefruit mistaken for an orange)
1.5 lemons (or more)
1 kg honey
3 cups white sugar

*ERIN NOTE: About 3/4 c. sugar per 1 c. fruit mix at time of adding.

Peel and core apples and put peels and cores in a large/tall soup pot (reserve flesh for another project).
Add enough water to just float.
Boil for a couple of hours until apple detritus is easily mushed and liquid is quite cloudy (that's pectin more or less).
Strain through mesh strainer/cheese cloth, let drip for a while to get all the liquid out. Discard apple detritus.

*ERIN NOTE: Perhaps boil down the pectin a little more to save time later.

Juice citrus. Add juice to apple pectin.
Chop up citrus leavings and wrap in cheese cloth bundle. Tie with string and suspend in pot.
Add clean hulled strawberries. Watch fearfully as pot very nearly overflows.
Bring to a rolling boil (watching fearfully as pot very nearly overflows).
Cook until fruit is softened and some liquid has reduced, skimming foam along the way and mushing strawberries until they are the desired consistency.
Remove citrus bag and let strain into bowl. Add strained liquid back into pot (that's some more pectin). Discard bag.

*ERIN NOTE: Don't cook quite so long next time perhaps?

Add honey and sugar to pot and stir. Continue to boil vigorously to reduce. Sample along the way for sweetness.

*AARON NOTE: Please don't use so much honey.
*ERIN NOTE: But I like it.
*AARON NOTE: But you LIKE honey.
*ERIN NOTE: Okay... next time less honey.

Boil until a) mix is reduced about halfway (maybe less), b) mixture is 105*C (buy thermometer that actually works), c) mix becomes jelly like when spooned thinly on a very cold saucer, d) when mixture sheets between the tines of a fork, e) when it starts splattering so much that you can't even go near it, f) a frantic combination of all of these while realizing you should really have started this earlier in the day.

Ladle into hot sterilized jars and lid. Jars should seal as they cool.

This jam is a fairly soft set. Unmistakenly jammy, but sacrificing stiffness for reduced sugar.

No swear Pie Dough

This is the first damn pie dough that has worked for me in any way.

Link: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/pie-crust-102-all-butter-really-flaky-pie-dough/

* when cutting in the butter, really don't over do it. It will look totally uneven. Don't worry.
* keep a really light touch with the mix. Don't so much knead as toss until it all starts to come together itself.
* don't be afraid of adding water. I added about 3/4 c. ice water all told.
* makes enough for a double-crust pie and then some. Lots left over for kisses (sugar and cinnamon all rolled up into left over dough, sliced and baked).

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