Life Food & Drink

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Low-sugar strawberry and vanilla jam

Katie Bishop

Normally, jam requires equal quantities of fruit and sugar to set properly, but the slow cooking of this vegetarian recipe allows the mixture to use less sugar. Your jam won't be as firm as some, but you will have used half the amount of sugar.

YOU WILL NEED

1kg strawberries

500g jam sugar with pectin

2 tbsps lemon juice

A pinch of sea salt

1 vanilla pod

METHOD

Place a saucer into the freezer to chill. Meanwhile, wash and drain the kilogram of strawberries, then hull. Cut any large fruit into smaller pieces.

Place the strawberries into a slow- cooker dish with the sugar, the lemon juice and the salt. Crush the mixture lightly with a potato masher or a fork and leave it to stand for around 15 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.

Using a small sharp knife, split the vanilla pod in half, lengthways, and scrape out the seeds. Add these and the pod to the slow-cooker dish.

Cover with the lid and cook on high for 2½ hours, stirring twice during cooking until it begins to thicken.

Next, remove the lid and continue to cook the mixture for a further 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally until thick.

Remove the saucer from the freezer and place a teaspoonful of the jam in it. Leave this for a minute or two and then push an index finger through it.

If the surface of the jam wrinkles, it is ready. If the surface of the jam does not wrinkle, cook for another 30 minutes and then re-test it.

Once the mixture is ready, remove the vanilla pod using a pair of tongs. Be careful because it will be very hot.

With that done, ladle the finished jam into sterilised jars, cover them with wax discs and allow to cool completely.

Finally, seal the jars and store them in the fridge. Use within two months.

From '200 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes' by Katie Bishop. Published by Harper Collins

Irish Independent

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