The last bits of my haul of strawberries from my strawberry picking adventure were looking a little less than pretty today, and I decided to make strawberry jam with them.
I’ve used Xylitol to replace the sugar in this jam, and although I haven’t added any extra sugar, fruit is high in fruit sugar anyway, so this is not a “slimmers jam” or “diabetic jam” Eating sugar-free jam does help to lower your daily intake of sugar though, but if you are watching your waist, don’t pile it on just because its sugar free.
Okay, so having put that out of the way, I need to mention that the bottles that you store the jam in, need to be sterilised well. I put mine in a pot of water, lids and tongs that I’d use later and boiled it for about 20 minutes. The jars must be washed with hot ,soapy water first and then sterilized. Do this while your jam boils, so they are still hot when you add the jam.
I place a couple of saucers into the freezer as I begin the jam. This helps me test if the jam is ready or not. I boiled mine for about 20 minutes. After 15 minutes, I turned off the heat. Took a teaspoon of the jam and put it on a cold saucer from the freezer. I left it there for a minute or too and then ran my finger through it. Only when it makes a skin on the plate that wrinkles when you touch it, is the jam ready. If not, just put it on the heat again for another 4 or 5 minutes and re test.
500g strawberries, washed, hulled and roughly chopped
500g Xylitol (or sugar)
Juice of one lemon
3ml vanilla bean paste
Place all the ingredients into a medium pot and place on a medium heat.
Stir well until the Xylitol is dissolved. Don’t let the jam boil until you can’t see any sugar crystals.
Allow the jam to boil until the fruit is broken up and the jam is a deep ruby-red colour.
Check the jam by placing a teaspoonful onto a chilled saucer. Return to the heat if it is not ready.
Remove the glass jars from the sterilizing pot with clean, sterile tongs.
Fill each jar full to the top and place lid on firmly while still hot.
If you wish, remove the foamy bits from the top of each jar.
This jam needs to be eaten within a few months, as Xylitol does not have the same preservative qualities as sugar.