Monday, 20 May 2013

Left Over Strawberry and Rose Jam

Actually this recipe made more, but this pic was after I'd had my fill!

You know how it is when you buy a big tub of bright juicy strawberries, everyone has their fill, and after a couple of days you’re staring at ten glum berries?  

They’re not as enticing as they once were, but it’s a shame to throw them out, isn’t it?

This quick recipe is not for those of you who want to go into production, filling your basement shelves with shining jar after jar of preserves, lasting you into the winter.  

This recipe will make you a small pot of jam, very quickly, without much sweetening at all, which will be eaten while still warm and fresh.

They should look fresh again once chopped.

10 (approximately) left over strawberries
1 tablespoon water
3 teaspoons honey (I used organic, local wildflower, but any will do!)
1/8 teaspoon rosewater

Wash the berries and pluck the leaves from their tops.  (It drives me crazy when I see people lop off a good third of the strawberry to remove the leaves.  What waste!)

Roughly chop the berries, and put in a small, non-stick pot.  A very small amount of water is needed here, just enough to prevent the strawberries from scorching when the heat is first turned on.  Add the honey, to taste.  You may want less. 

(Most commercial jams are inedible for me, because they’re so sickly sweet.  When actual jam preserves are made, those jarred beauties that line shelves, they’re made with pectin, which is killer sour.  Tons of sugar must be added to that substance to make the jam palatable. 

As a young child, the doctor told my parents to hide pills in a spoonful of jam, so they’d be easily administered.  How I would fight, scream and cry, not because I had to take a pill, but because I hated that jam!

To me, a good jam has a slightly tart flavour, and it should be redolent with the fragrance of the freshest berries.  It’s true that you’ve already eaten the freshest, and these are merely the left overs that don’t look so great anymore. 

When the liquid's mostly gone, mash!
Be warned I’m not talking about berries that have gone bad.  Those need to be composted.  I’m talking about the slightly darkened berries that are looking a little limp.  Once chopped, they look gorgeous again.)

Turn on the heat to medium, and cook for about ten minutes.  When the excess water is mostly evaporated, use a masher to squish the berries down a bit.  You don’t want a smooth jelly consistency; you’re just breaking it down a bit.  When it’s mashed a little, stir in the rosewater, and serve while still warm.

Find rosewater in import aisles!
This jam would be magnificent on a freshly toasted bagel with creamcheese, but unfortunately I am still restricting my calories.  For me, just a little bit went on top of a bowl of 1% plain yogurt, along with a few nutritious hemp seeds.  (You can take the girl out of Nelson, but you can’t take Nelson out of the girl.) 

For those of you who are botanically inclined, strawberries and roses are related, which helps to explain why these two flavours blend so well.  

Why waste berries when you can take ten minutes to turn them into a delectable jam?

Plain yogurt, shmaine shmogurt...  Wish it was ice-cream!


  1. Berries are pretty expensive over here. I can do the same to other local fruits like pineapples. Yep, why waste when it can be saved.

  2. I agree! I hate to see anything good wasted. Right now my husband is lugging an old (over 100 years old) bed out of our house, as we've bought a new one. We're going to use the old bed for a trellis in the garden. I hope it looks okay! I'll have to post a picture! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. I'd love this for breakfast on toast!