WEEKLY RECIPE with Bette Banjack — Easy Strawberry Jam – The Mercury

Last week I mentioned that strawberries are consumed in large quantities in the food industry. Which covers both professional & home kitchens. You can pick up your favorite strawberry foods at the market. Such as popsicles, Twirlers, coffee cake, jams & the list goes on.

At home you can make many different strawberry treats. There is nothing like fresh strawberries. Most people sprinkle sugar on top of their strawberries. I urge you to try fresh strawberries without a ton of sugar on them & appreciate the real taste. It may take a little getting used to but the taste of real strawberries is just wonderful.

To store fresh strawberries wash them & cut the stems off.

If you plan to keep them in the refrigerator for several days — wait to clean & rinse.  Rinsing them speeds up spoilage.

You can plant strawberries in your garden, flower beds, window boxes & containers. Using roots, runners or seeds.

Strawberry shortcake was created in the kitchen of King Henry VIII (mid-16th century) is a treat near the top of the list of favorites. The combination of the berry & the whipped cream is luscious. Strawberry jam is also a favorite at breakfast on toast or bagels. Strawberry jam is really easy to make at home.

EASY STRAWBERRY JAM

2 quarts crushed strawberries

6 cups sugar

Clean & rinse strawberries. Combine berries and sugar in a large saucepot. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Turn up heat to cook rapidly until thick, about 35 to 40 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Adjust lids.  Processing 15 minutes in boiling hot water bath. Yields about 4 pints.

LUSCIOUS WHIPPED CREAM

1 pint cold heavy whipping cream

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Put the bowl of a standing mixer or a large mixing bowl (glass or metal preferred) into the refrigerator to chill for at least 15-30 minutes (or longer). Add whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the chilled bowl of a standing mixer (or chilled mixing bowl). Use the wire whisk attachment to a standing mixer, or a hand-held mixer, and beat the ingredients together, starting on low speed and increasing to high slowly as it begins to firm up. Beat for 60-90 seconds until stiff peaks form. Stopping once halfway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer mixture to a piping bag to pipe onto your favorite dessert or into hot chocolate. Or put in a serving dish to serve. Keep chilled between usage.

“UNTIL NEXT WEEK”

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