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Homemade strawberry jam


orangeblossom
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I recently started making my own strawberry jam. The recipe i used, by Christine Ferber, called for the berries to be macerated overnight, and the entire mixture is boiled on the 2nd day, cooled and re-fridged again. Finally, on the 3rd day, the mixture is sieved, the syrup simmered down and the fruit added back in for a final quick boil.

I've read several recipes since, including those on eGullet, and they all seem much simpler, with the whole process taking not much longer than an hour plus or so.

Is there a difference? WOuld appreciate some help. Thanks.

btw - I separated my strawberry jams into 3 batches - 1 original, 1 with a vanilla pod added, and the last with a pinch of lavender (lightly crushed with a pestle). All 3 turned out wonderful :)

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Having made a lot of strawberry jam in my life, I can tell you this...there are faster ways, less labour intensive ways, than the Ferber method. You can boil 6 cups of crushed fruit with 7 cups of sugar and add certo. You can do sugar and splenda and put it in the freezer...lots of easy and quick methods. But to me, the results compared to the Ferber method are inferior. Sure it's okay jam, but it's just okay...it's not stunning. Try a batch using the recipe on the certo box. If you like it as much as the Ferber method, go with that. But I am guessing you will see a huge difference in quality and texture.

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Having made a lot of strawberry jam in my life, I can tell you this...there are faster ways, less labour intensive ways, than the Ferber method.  You can boil 6 cups of crushed fruit with 7 cups of sugar and add certo.  You can do sugar and splenda and put it in the freezer...lots of easy and quick methods.  But to me, the results compared to the Ferber method are inferior.  Sure it's okay jam, but it's just okay...it's not stunning.  Try a batch using the recipe on the certo box.  If you like it as much as the Ferber method, go with that.  But I am guessing you will see a huge difference in quality and texture.

Thanks - you've just reassured me :smile:

Just 2 points of clarification.

Firstly, for those reading this post and would like to try this 3-day method, don't be daunted by the time needed. It's really easy, and made exactly as described. Fool-proof.

Second, Badiane, from what I've read, most of the recipes call for the fruit, sugar and lemon juice to be boiled together until setting point. Reviews, where available, are usually good. I'm thinking the next batch i make, i might try this as a comparison. Also, would you be able to share your recipe? btw, what's certo and

splenda?

Cheers.

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Certa is a brand of powdered or liquid pectin available in the US often used to thicken jams and jellies. Splenda is a sugar substitute made from sucralose, a sucrose derivative which the human body can't digest.

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Erik Ellestad

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Strawberries are low in pectin. You need to either add pectin (certo, or apple jelly) or puree enough strawberries to extract it. I like whole strawberries in my jam, and they take a long time for the sugar to penetrate. If you cook them without macerating they tend to collapse.

Stay with the Ferber method.

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When I have used the Ferber method, I have found that I end up with a softer set, and with translucent jewel-like fruit floating in a soft jelly. The flavor seems deeper to me, and the texture less...rubbery? Lovely stuff!

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Somebody fill me in as I have obviously been hanging out under my rock. I just googled and got an Amazon link to this book. Is this the author you are referring to? Tell me more.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

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Somebody fill me in as I have obviously been hanging out under my rock. I just googled and got an Amazon link to this book. Is this the author you are referring to? Tell me more.

Christine Ferber , also known as the jam fairy amongst her fans, is considered one of, if not the best, jam makers in France. I love her jams and always make it a point to get some when I'm in Paris. Currently. I have her white peach jam and Alsatian cherry jam opened in my fridge :smile:

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I love Ferber's jam book. I've made the strawberry-mint jam, which was very good. The apricot-vanilla is wonderful.

The LA Times printed a strawberry jam recipe I've been meaning to try, too. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"The best strawberry cook I've ever met is Edon Waycott, former jam maker to Campanile restaurant. Waycott made other jams, but her genius was with strawberries. Typical jam recipes, especially fast ones, call for one part sugar to two parts fruit, with the sugar acting as the setting agent. The sweetness too often upstages the strawberry. By contrast, Waycott used one part sugar to six parts fruit. By macerating the fruit overnight, then cooking it for a long time, slowly and gently in a broad, shallow pan, the berries retained their form and flavor, and came out tasting more like themselves than themselves — like strawberries squared, rather than, as she called it, "merely red." Several years ago, she gave us her recipe, but somehow when it was published a four-hour jam became a one-hour jam." click for article

We recently came back from Paris with a few jars of Ferber's jams: myrtille; rose-litchi-raspberry; strawberry-raspberry-cherry; banana-passion fruit; cassis-violet; and plum.

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  • 1 year later...

Would anyone be willing to pm me Christine Ferber's strawberry jam recipe? I just ordered her book but I have a flat of strawberries from the farmer's market today. Thanks!

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I am not familiar with Christine Ferber but I use a similar process from Small Batch Preserving that makes lovely fresh-tasting strawberry jam and I can do it in small enough quantities for just two of us. It also calls for macerating the strawberries overnight. Now, of course, I will be on the lookout for Ferber's book!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Interesting thread. This past weekend we made (and canned) our first batch of jam, a simple raspberry jam. One of the things that struck me when looking through recipes was that some called for macerating the berries and sugar for 15 minutes, others called for cooking without macerating, while one called for macerating for 24 hours. We did the later, simply because we bought the berries on Saturday, but didn't have time to proceed until Sunday.

One thing I noticed was that the jam seems a little on the loose side. It's perfectly fine, but I'd prefer it a little stiffer next time.

We used about 2 lbs of berries, 2.5 cups of sugar, and about 2 tablespoons of lemon and lime juices. After macerating, we cooked the berries and sugar for about 10 minutes, then added the acid, and then canned it.

None of the recipes we consulted called for adding pectin. Was the resulting jam on the loose side because I should have added pectin, or did I not cook the berries long enough?

Edited to add: We used our dutch oven to process the jars. This worked fine for the small jam jars, but won't work for larger pint or quart jars. I know I can buy canning pots for $20 at my local hardware store. Do most of you use something like this, or do you just use a very large stockpot (which I would have to buy also).

Thanks for any tips.

Edited by Darren72 (log)
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Christine Ferber's recipe paraphrased

2 1/2 pounds (1.1Kg) small strawberries or 2 1/4 lbs (1Kg) after hulling

4 cups /850g sugar

Juice of 1 small lemon

Wash and dry the strawberries and hull them.

Macerate with the sugar and lemon juice covered in the refrigerator overnight.

Next day bring to a simmer, then cool and refrigerate again overnight.

On the third day drain off the syrup and boil the syrup over high heat in a preserving pan until it reaches 221F (setting point).

Add the partly cooked strawberries and return to boil over high heat, Skim and boil for no more than 5 minutes, stirring gently. Check set. Place into jars and seal immediately.

She gives versions for Wild and Mara strawberry, strawberry with black pepper and fresh mint, Strawberry with Raspberry Juice and Balsamic vinegar, Strawberry with Passion Fruit, Strawberry with Pinot Noir and Spices and Strawberry and Red currant jelly with Whole Strawberries and Pepper

Buy the book!

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Christine Ferber's recipe paraphrased

<extra stuff removed>

boil the syrup over high heat in a preserving pan until it reaches 221F (setting point).

Add the partly cooked strawberries and return to boil over high heat, Skim and boil for no more than 5 minutes, stirring gently. Check set. Place into jars and seal immediately.

<extra stuff removed>

I do have the book and it is filled with lots of interesting looking recipes that I'm looking forward to trying ... however, the above snippet has generated a question ...

It was already discussed earlier that strawberries are low in pectin. Obviously this strawberry jam recipe doesn't call for the addition of extra pectin (either in the form of apple jelly or commercial pectin) -- does the boiling to 221F ensure that the jam will set properly? If this is the case, why add apple jelly/pectin to ANY jam recipe, if simply cooking it to 221F ensures a proper set?

Is is just a matter of preference or is there some scientific cooking principle that is being satisfied?

Thanks!

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I'm loving this thread! I just made two batches of strawberry jam with (gasp!) certo. I grew up with certo jam and have continued making it that way because I was under the now-obviously-false assumption that jam without certo had to have a ton of sugar in it. With certo I can use the light version and make jam with more fruit than sugar which I prefer. I'm thrilled to find that I can do the same thing without certo. The other thing I found interesting with this method is that the strawberries sit in the fridge for awhile. The jam I just made with certo really did turn out well but I'm wondering now if this has to do with the fact that I sliced the strawberries up several days ago and they sat in the fridge with just a bit of sugar until I decided what to do with them. Even though I mashed them a bit before making the jam the fruit still held it's shape very well and tastes amazing. Now I'm excited to try the Ferber method and see how the flavour is.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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i use a small-batch preserving method that uses less sugar and no added pectin. it's explained more fully in "how to pick a peach", but essentially, you macerate the sugar and fruit overnight, then cook the mixture only 2-3 cups at a time in a skillet. Because you're cooking so little, it heats very quickly, so you get a fresher flavor. the set is a little soft (almost like a spoon sweet), but i like it that way.

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  • 2 years later...

I made Ferber's Strawberry and Red Currant jelly with Whole Strawberries and Black Pepper a few days ago. At first I thought it just didn't set at all, but when I opened, the top with the strawberries is just syrup, while the jelly set below. I wasn't clear with the directions, so I did cook the strawberries for 3-4 minutes instead of just bringing them to a boil. I'm wondering where I went wrong and what I could do differently next time. Was it that I cooked the strawberries? I would have thought the opposite, that they were still holding too much liquid. I'd love any suggestions!

The only other Ferber recipe I've tried that didn't set was the cherry-mint one. I seem to have trouble with ones with whole fruits. :)

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