Sunday, August 28, 2016

We Be Jammin'... Strawberry Feijoa Jam

Strawberry Feijoa Jam
Found on hitchhikingtoheaven

Yields about 6 half pints

2-1/4 pounds feijoa flesh (weigh after peeling)*

1 pound strawberries 

4 cups sugar 

2 ounces lemon juice (6 tablespoons) 

1 cup feijoa juice

Day One

1. Rinse the feijoas, cut off the blossom ends (the ends with the hairy antlers), and slice the fruits lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Put the flesh into a large bowl and, at the same time, drop the skins into a large, nonreactive saucepot. (You will use these skins to make the juice in Step 3.) Mash the flesh with a potato masher and set aside.

2. Rinse, hull, and roughly chop the strawberries — or get ‘em out of the freezer if that’s where they are. Add the strawberries to the bowl with the feijoa flesh, then add the sugar and lemon juice to this bowl and set it aside.

3. Make the feijoa juice by covering the peels with water until they are submerged by about 1 inch and simmering for 20 – 25 minutes. Strain out the peels. (You will have a lot more juice than you need. I think this is a good thing, because you can refrigerate or freeze that juice to make a wonderful feijoa syrup later; see below.) Add 1 cup of feijoa juice to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients, gently mix, cover tightly, and place in the fridge to macerate for about 24 hours.

Day Two

1. Sterilize your jars and place 5 metal teaspoons on a small plate in the freezer, to test your jam for doneness later.

2. Transfer the contents of the bowl to your jam pan. Heat the mixture on medium, stirring frequently until the sugar is fully dissolved. Then turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring as needed to prevent sticking or burning. (If it starts to stick at any point, turn down the heat a bit.) Use a shallow, stainless-steel spoon to skim some of the stiff foam off the top of the mixture as it cooks, taking care not to scoop up the jam liquid as you do so. You may also want get in there with your potato masher again if you feel moved to do so. In my 11-quart copper jam pan, the total cooking time for this jam is 20-24 minutes. Watch the mixture and test it when it starts to thicken up, the foam settles down, and the bubbles become small and shiny.

To test your jam for doneness: Remove the pan from the heat. Use one of your frozen spoons to scoop up a little bit of jam — not a whole spoonful. Return the spoon to the freezer and wait 3 minutes. Retrieve the spoon and hold it vertically. If the mixture just fails to run and is thick and gloppy when you push it with your finger, it’s done. If the jam isn’t ready, cook it a few minutes more.

3. When the jam is done, ladle or pour the hot mixture into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims clean and secure the lids. Process 10 minutes in a hot-water bath canner.

*If you don’t have enough feijoas, or if you prefer more strawberry, you can change the proportions of fruit to include more or mostly berries — just shoot for 3 1/4 pounds of fruit overall, and keep in mind that changing the proportions may change your cooking time, as well.

Bonus Feijoa Syrup

You can use the leftover juice from the jam recipe to make an easy feijoa syrup for homemade sodas or cocktails. Simply combine 1 part juice with .75 parts sugar and simmer for about 15 minutes. Skim off the little bit of skin that might form on top of the syrup, let it cool, and bottle it for the fridge. I like to add some chopped, fresh ginger while the syrup simmers, and then the juice of a couple of limes after I remove the syrup from the heat. Experiment! (But please remember this syrup isn’t for canning. Store it in the fridge or freezer.)

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