How to Make Strawberry... Syrup?

Don't be like me. Don't read about making strawberry jam from several different sites; some that used pectin, some that used apples, some that used sugar, and some that used honey. And definitely don't combine all those recipes in your head. Here's what happened:


I almost missed strawberry season here, this is the last week of it. Over the weekend, Jeremy brought home 4 gallon baskets of strawberries from a local farm here. I can't wait until we can just pick ours, but not yet. Anyway, we ate 1 and 1/2 of those as snacks and with some sourdough crepes. But by day two (yes, we ate that many in a day and a half), I needed to put them up before we lost them. Last year, I just froze them, but this year I wanted to try to make some jam. I knew I wanted the jam to be sugar free, and I wasn't thrilled about using pectin (not because I've researched it, I just know I can't make it, so I'd rather not use it. That's kind of my baseline for real foods. If I can make/grow it, I can use it; if not, I try not to.).



So I looked around on the internet and read some techniques for making strawberry jam. I read about adding sugar and pectin, bringing it to a boil for 2 minutes. Then canning it with a water bath. Ok, got that.


Back to looking around the internet. I found some no pectin but sugar recipes. I don't think I read the technique on those. If I did, I forgot.


Finally, I searched "honey strawberry jam" recipes. I found several, some with pectin, and some with apples to replace the pectin because apparently apples are high in pectin. Some with a lot of honey, some with very little. Again, I didn't read the rest of the technique. That's where I believe I made my mistake.


I cut up my strawberries, about 6 pounds worth, grated up a granny smith apple, and squeezed two small lemons for their juice. I mashed it all up with the potato masher and started heating it all up. I added 1/2 a cup of honey and brought it to a boil. Oh, and I added a pat of butter to help with the foam.



This was on a Sunday evening, so I was tired and just trying to get it done quickly. I let it boil for two minutes, and then I wondered for a split second if I was doing this right. Nah, it'll be fine. Eowyn and I both tasted it and liked it. It isn't sweet, but it tastes like fresh berries with a tartness to it. Anyway, I added the jam to the jars and gave them a water bath for 10 minutes. I was excited when they sealed, and I was excited to get 8 jam jars out of the recipe. And I also had enough strawberries left over to freeze two quarts, so I was pretty pleased with myself. Everyone wanted to try the jam, and I knew I was going to blog about it, and I wanted to share the results, so we popped one open and....it's syrup. Yep, strawberry syrup. It's delicious, and still good on a biscuit, and it'll be good over pancakes, etc, but it's not jam.

Let's move on to the Harvest Recipes Link Up! 

The only two rules today are that your recipes must include strawberries (and it'd be really great if you could link up a recipe for strawberry JAM) and then share this post in some way. Ok? Let's see what you do with strawberries! (In the name field, put the name of your recipe!)



12 comments

  1. Hehe. I remember one year trying to use apples for pectin. I didn't realize at the time you needed fresh (not yet ripe) apples. Didn't work so well for me. But how cool is it that you have all that syrup? Do you make your own ice cream to go with it? (Never done that myself.)

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    1. My Mom makes homemade ice cream every summer, and it's really the best way to enjoy ice cream. I love it. And I think this syrup will be good on it. I've never tried making either though.

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    2. Oh, and you should link up your post about freezing strawberries!

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  2. Oh how I love that. It's totally something I would do, best part is now I know, under ripe apples, not ripe, if I want to use them for pectin. I've also heard that crab apples are great to use instead of pectin....
    So not that you have all that syrup you need to find things to do with it. Personally I love pancakes, so I would be happy to have it on them. But I also really like the suggestion made by the Farmers Wife about making ice cream with it.
    Good luck, and I'll be checking back later to see all the really great strawberry recipes. We just started picking so I'll be looking for things to do with them soon enough, so far I'm just freezing them.

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    1. Under ripe apples, huh? I wonder how you find under ripe apples? That's good to know though. Maybe when I have my apple trees, I'll be able to make jam.
      Farmers Wife always has good ideas, and ice cream will be on my list this summer. We've been enjoying it on biscuits right now though. I need to make some pancakes too, and I bet it would be good on crepes with some cream cheese. There are lots of ways to use it up! Thanks for encouraging Ricki!

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    2. As fruit ripens, the pectin "ripens out" of it, so you just have more when they are under-ripe. I'm sure you could do it with ripe apples, but it just doesn't work for me :-( . I have 11 trees, so not a problem for me. You can use a variety of fruits, apples are just at the top/highest in pectin.
      I demand an ice cream post. I'm pretty clueless with that. I heard it's easy enough for the kids to do. I think it'd be fun, but I think things I've never done are more intimidating.
      Blessings,

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  3. These syrups (I've done this myself, don't feel bad) also work well to blend into smoothies, or spoon over ice cream or cakes, or into yogurt. :) Enjoy, and thanks for sharing your mishaps. :)

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  4. Still looks delicious! :)

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  5. At least it's still usable, right? :) I'm getting ready to try a strawberry jam recipe that uses chia seeds instead of pectin. I was a bit skeptical but a friend said it's delicious.

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  6. Try pomona pectin, it's an all-natural no-sugar pectin. Or try keeping the seeds of all citrus in a baggie in your freezer and add them in a muslin bag, they contain lots of pectin that react with the calcium in the food, not just the sugar. Also, boil the hell out of it, it helps on having a more jammy consistency. But syrup is fine too! More than often, that's what you'll obtain with a sugar free jam recipe.

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