One of the best things about strawberry jam is that you don’t have to be very discerning when it comes to the type of strawberry you are using. Most strawberries tend to be good for jam making, but if you are trying to go for the best results, some types and jam-making practices stand out among the others.
Strawberries For Jam – What Do You Need To Know
Before we get into the specifics of strawberry types, there are a few things you need to know about using strawberries for jam.
When creating strawberry jam, the main issue to overcome is the absence of pectin, a “mucilaginous material” that functions as a setting agent. The more acidic the fruit, the more pectin it is likely to contain; thus, the fully ripe strawberry’s strong sweetness works against it here.
There are three strategies to increase your pectin intake: Using the juice of more acidic fruit, such as lemon or currants, secondly, using jam sugar (which includes pectin), and thirdly, adding some in liquid form to ordinary sugar. Many “purists” regard the use of artificial pectin as cheating. It’s possible to make jams without using pectin.
As for making jam from different strawberries, it’s important to understand that each requires a relatively different approach.
A sour strawberry may be used to make jam, but it will require a little more sugar, like three cups for a case instead of two, which you might need for sweeter berries. For mildly sweet strawberry types, you might need two and a half cups of sugar to make the same amount of jam.
The variation in fruit variety is reflected in a jam in a big way. The tarter berries, when cooked with a little more sugar, have a brighter flavor and a more prominent acid-to-sugar contrast, whilst the sweeter berries yield a richer fruit. Consider the distinctions between Beaujolais and aged claret.
Some Of The Best Strawberries For Jam
Look for freshness, ripeness, and aroma while selecting strawberries.
Plump, glossy strawberries with fresh green leaves suggest freshness. If the box is clear plastic, peek through the sides and bottom to see if there are any hidden strawberries. Any mold will provide a musty flavor.
Strawberries with rich red color and little or no white meat beneath the leaves suggest ripeness. Strawberries don’t keep ripening after they’ve been harvested, so be sure they’re fully ripe when you buy them.
Their flavor strength is proportional to the intensity of their scent. Good strawberries have a strong aroma. If they’re cold, though, the scent will be muted until they warm up again.
Small blackened berries that are delicious but have a high acid content (and hit the shelves towards the end of the season) are some of the best strawberries for jam.
Some strawberries that are ideally suited for jam are:
1. Sparkle Strawberries
Sparkle strawberries are a famous strawberry type that has been around for over 60 years. It is commonly regarded as the greatest strawberry cultivar for jam production. Sparkle strawberries are medium-sized and mature later than other strawberries. Sparkle strawberry bushes produce rich red strawberries with outstanding flavor.
2. Ozark Beauty Strawberries
Make use of the fruit and the protective ground cover. This ever-bearer not only keeps weeds away but also produces waves of luscious, delicious scarlet-red strawberries. This is one of the hardiest, most robust, and heavy-producing everbearing strawberries we’ve seen in our test plots—Hardy in the cold. Early in the summer, it ripens and continues to bear fruit until the first frost.
3. Seascape Strawberries
It has a big, conical to spherical fruit with a beautiful glossy red hue. The strawberries, on the other hand, aren’t only red on the outside. On the inside, they are likewise brilliant red. It’s one of the most dependable autumn producers, and it even thrives in hot, dry conditions. Seascape produces huge, flavorful berries throughout the growing season but is most prolific in late spring, with significant harvests in the fall.
4. Chandler Strawberries
Chandler strawberries yield a big, tasty fruit. Because of its strong strawberry flavor, this cultivar has become quite popular. Unlike other cultivars that have sacrificed quality for disease resistance or enhanced yields, Chandler has a unique flavor and sweetness. The fruit’s inside is reddish-brown in hue, with lots of juice. Chandler fruits may soon become your favorite if you dislike the dry, white centers seen in other strawberries.
Chandler strawberries are big, firm berries that ripen in the early to mid-season. Strawberries come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from long and wedge-shaped to big and conical. They have a beautiful crimson color, a glossy finish, and a delicious flavor.
5. Gaviotas Strawberries
It’s a short-day strawberry that thrives in both wet and cold climates. Its fruit has a conical form and is less fragrant than other berries, but its ruby red color and exquisite taste make up for it. Low-acid Gaviota strawberries provide excellent fruit quality and a classic strawberry taste.
Even though some strawberry variants and types are better for jam, you still retain most of the control over the quality of production. No matter which strawberry you pick, you can produce a tasty and mouthwatering jam by finding the ideal recipe and adjusting other ingredients and the process.