Howdy Jammers! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this last strawberry batch posted. We have been super busy here at the cottage with yard and garden work (we have spring fever), plus I wanted to give this last batch as long as I could before giving up any hope for it being anything more than a syrup. As you can see by the title of this one, syrup is what I got. It’s thick but still syrupy, none the less. I don’t want to call it a failed jam, that sounds negative, and would effect the taste of it simply by the forethought that it was failed. I prefer to simply change the name based on the outcome and give it to someone who will instantly think of it as a perfect “sauce” or “syrup” and will be none the wiser! It’s a trick that my Mabert taught me…nothing is ever a complete failure and no one has to know it was ever meant to be something different (unless you tell them). You can also think of it as truly making the best with what you have. Focus on the positive and never dwell on the negative, she would say.
I mentioned that I would tell you about my favorite sugar to use in my creations. It is Domino brand sugar and we buy it by the ten pound bag from the local warehouse style store. It is superfine granulated sugar and the texture is so very fine, almost powdery, but not a true powdered sugar. It dissolves quickly and thoroughly in everything I use it in from my infamous sweet tea, to powdered drink mixes for the Scouts and now in my jams and jellies. I never have sugary clumps and it dissolves very quickly, even in cold liquids. When I first open a new bag I get a nose full of sugar dust, because it is superfine, and all I can think about is how glad I am that I don’t have a candle burning too close to it or that I don’t smoke anymore… Did you know that sugar dust is combustible if exposed to sparks or flame? Be careful with the sweet stuff…in more ways than one!
Now a few weeks ago, I bought the flat of strawberries and had just enough left for a third batch of jam and decided to try a strawberry vanilla jam which turned out to be a wonderful strawberry vanilla syrup. When I went to gather my ingredients I could not find my whole vanilla beans and decided to heed my Mabert’s advice…use what you have and make it work, so I pulled out the pure vanilla extract. I always place a few dabs behind my ears and on my wrists when working with my vanilla, it is such a comforting smell. I hope you enjoy this syrup and I can’t wait to hear how you end up using it.
Strawberry Vanilla Syrup
4 pints strawberries, hulled and pureed (I used the food processor)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 pouch liquid pectin
Preheat canner and prepare jars and lids. Combine pureed strawberries, sugar, vanilla and butter in a large, deep pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture can not be stirred down. Stir in pectin and boil for 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat and quickly skim off any foam from the top. Ladle the syrup into the hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth and add the lids and rings, turning the rings until just finger-tight. Place the jars in the preheated canner and bring canner to a full rolling boil. Process jars for 10 minutes (adjusting according to your altitude, if necessary) then remove canner from heat. Let canner sit for 5 minutes, then, carefully remove hot jars from water with a jar lifter, place them on a towel on the counter and leave them undisturbed for 24 hours. Check the seals before storing and use within 12 months.
Makes about 9 half pint jars. I did 5 half pints and 2 pint jars in my batch.
I am not sure if it was the fact that I pureed the fruit, used the extract instead of the bean or if it was the pectin but I ended up with a beautiful velvety syrup that is perfect over french toast. I have also stirred it into plain greek style yogurt and even blended it into milk for a fresh frothy treat. It is fabulous and so much fresher than any store bought syrup I have had. I love it and hope it turns out just like this next time, too!
I made a new banana jam that I will post next time. Till then, Be Blessed and Be Sweet!