Quick! Check your breadmaker for a “jam” setting! After owning my current breadmaker about 6 months, I decided to explore the “jam” function on my machine. The recipes in the booklet that came with the machine seemed a little fancy: ginger pear, rhubarb strawberry, etc. I did some looking online and compiled some notes that they all had in common. Did a couple of trial runs, which turned out great, and this is what works for me:
Breadmaker Strawberry Jam
4 cups whole, frozen strawberries, thawed and mashed (about 2-3 cups once mashed)
3 Tbsp low-sugar pectin (must be low sugar kind!)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (I use bottled)
1 cup sugar
Put all ingredients in breadmaker pan in order listed and run on jam cycle. Mine takes about an hour. When finished, carefully remove from pan (will be HOT!!!) and put into a glass container to cool. I use the 4 cup Pyrex that I measured and thawed the strawberries in, as shown in the image. Once cool enough to handle, but not completely cooled so that it has gelled, pour into storage containers. I use clean Smuckers squeeze bottles, and put one in the fridge and one in the freezer for later. You can also can the jam in glass jars, which I have given as gifts with rave reviews, but canning is best saved for another post. Jam is supposed to last for about 1 month refrigerated, but ours is usually eaten before then…
I use frozen strawberries found at Costco in 5lb bags. These are already clean and hulled, so all I have to do is fill my 4 cup Pyrex, put the lid on, and thaw in the fridge overnight. I use my little mini-processor attachment that came with my hand blender to chop them up, however I have used my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment, it just leaves large pieces sometimes. You can also use a potato masher to do it manually, but I do not own one of these (yet). Then the berries are mashed and ready for the breadmaker! I have used 1 lb of fresh berries before, but they are more trouble to clean and hull, and the end result was not as sweet and did not have the same rich, red color. I usually have the frozen ones on hand, so we can have delicious jam no matter the season.
Also, I am not a jam making expert, but I do believe regular jams use a 1:1 sugar and berries ratio, which breadmaker recipes do not. The lower sugar ratio to berries requires the use of a low-sugar pectin, or your jam will not set properly.
This post is also linked to Tammy’s Recipes Kitchen Tip Tuesday this week! Click on the link to go see her post on homemade yogurt (her way is different than mine) and other great kitchen tips!