Making strawberry jam – and the magic of adding red wine to strawberries!

Although bought from a local farm shop these strawberries were rather hard and sharp, so I cooked them with a little red wine, vanilla and sugar into some dreamy jam. I didn’t actually measure anything as I was just cooking for myself – but it’s so good that I felt I must share – here’s what I did

Strawberry Jam with Vanilla and Red Wine

I hulled and halved 3 largish punnets of strawberries and put half of them them in a pan moistened with half a glass of red wine, a couple of teaspoons of Swedish vanilla sugar, and a cup or two of jam sugar.

I let this come to the boil and roll away until the strawberries were softened before adding the rest of them. When these were soft, but still holding their shape I poured the resulting mixture into two sterilised jam jars – with a little extra to be enjoyed immediately!

The jam sugar has pectin in it so needs very little boiling to thicken, but I prefer jam to be fairly loose anyway, as I like to serve it for dessert, on pancakes or waffles or on yoghurt for breakfast. We rarely eat it on bread or toast these days. If you do like your jam seet properly boil a little longer and test by dropping a little onto a cold plate before pouring into the jars.

I find red wine a curiously sympathetic taste with strawberries – I was shown many years ago by a French friend how to add a few drops of claret to a bowl of hulled and halved strawberries which had had some sugar sprinked over them. The strawberries were left for half an hour or so and a miraculous transformation had taken place!

The juice around the strawberries tasted sweetly and intensely of strawberries – no discernable taste of wine –  and the strawberries themselves were very slighlty softened so that their taste came through fresh and fragrant. Pure magic.

This jam uses that magic.

Photo notes

As ever I can’t resist shooting anything in the kitchen that looks gorgeous, and so I grabbed a camera as the strawberries came to the boil.

  • Camera: Nikon D90
  • Lens Nikkor 50mm 1.8 at f5.6

The camera was on a tripod and natural window light came from behind the pan in a very light room – nothing more to it than that!

This picture and more from the series are available from <a href=”http://www.thepicturekitchen.com”>thePictureKitchen</a&gt;

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