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Old 06-07-2005, 06:28 AM   #1
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Can Someone Explain this?

Hello, everybody

I'm sure someone must have an explanation for this: I'm making strawberry jam and have been dutifully skimming the pink foamy stuff on top as the jam cooks. I always thought it had to be removed to keep the jam clear but I actually tasted it and it really tastes foul. Can somebody tell me why? There must be some chemical explanation to this phenomenon.

By the way, I add a few sprigs of mint and two sage leaves to my jam as I cook it. It really tastes very good.

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Old 06-07-2005, 09:06 AM   #2
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I started making Jam with Jello and it turns out great. Sage? never thought that would be good in jam. I have seen mint called for in jam recipes tho. Don't really know why the foul tast. Hope you find out.
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:37 AM   #3
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Use only a little bit of sage (two leaves to 3kgs of strawberries) and be sure to remove it and the mint before potting. I find it sharpens the strawberry taste and makes the jam less cloyingly sweet. I have tried this with a couple of (small) pieces of ginger as well and it works well also. It won't alter the taste as strawberry is so powerful it tends to cover everything else but it'll give the jam un petit quelque chose.
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Old 06-07-2005, 01:59 PM   #4
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You skim the same stuff off chicken stock, etc. when you cook them. Hopefully the sage wasn't too strong in your jam. It sounds great though. It might have tasted nasty because it IS nasty!!
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:50 PM   #5
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As kitchenelf said - it's akin to the foam scum you skim off chicken stock. If I remember what Alton Brown said one night on Good Eats - it's some kind of protein. In the case of strawberries - it's probably high in sulpher compounds.
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Old 06-08-2005, 02:43 AM   #6
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Which probably explains why it tastes both sour and bitter. I don't suggest anybody try it, it's really foul.
As for the sage, you leeave it in for about 5 minutes. Two leaves for 6lbs are not too strong at all and you cannot actually taste it. It only makes the taste of strawberries sharper.
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:19 PM   #7
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I trust you when you say I shouldn't taste it LOL. That's interesting about the sage and strawberries. I need a lesson in canning/jelly making.
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Old 06-09-2005, 10:32 AM   #8
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Here is my recipe for strawberry jam. It's a little more fluid than most because I use a little less sugar and strawberries tend not to gel well, but my family doesn't mind. It does make for sticky fingers, though. But then you've got the added pleasure of licking your fingers clean.

3kgs strawberries (about 6bs)
2.5 kgs sugar - 1 kg can be that special sugar for jams.
juice of 2 lemons
2 sage leaves
This makes about 10 jars.

Quickly wash the strawberries (never soak them but of course you know that already). Remove the green bit. If they're very large, you can cut them in pieces. Otherwise, leave them whole.
In a large dish, alternate layers of strawberries and sugar.
Cover with film wrap. Leave overnight in a cool place.
The next day, remove the fruit and keep aside. Pour juice in large thick pot, adding lemon juice and sage. Bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes (until juice thickens). Remove sage. Add fruit. Bring once more to a boil and cook for another 20 minutes. Do not forget to remove the icky foamy stuff all the while. Once the jam thickens, dribble some over a cold plate. It should start to congeal. Draw a line down the middle with your finger: if the line does close in, the jam is ready.

Pots: do not forget to boil them (and the lids) to make sure there are no germs; Pour in the hot jam distributing the fruit evenly between the pots. If you're using tight screw-on lids, just turn the pots over on their lids once you've closed them until they're cold. This is enough to keep the air and condensation out.
If the lids aren't tight, you'll need to place a circle of wax paper (I think that's how it's called in english) on top of the hot jam to keep the air out.

Voilà! Bon appétit!
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