Hey, Happy New Year and hope the new year is bringing in lots of cheer so far. I am starting with a new project this year. I know projects have kind of become a obsession with me now but they are so much fun and very challenging. This will be the third year I am going to do a 365 project.
You can also see my 2013 – 365 Project folder here.
I won’t say it’s a breeze doing a 365 project. Especially during 2011 I learned a lot and this project forced me to click something closer to home and hence my interest grew a lot into food photography. I enjoyed every bit of it. 2009 was more on a point and shoot and though I would say the pictures have not been technically great, I had to salvage the show focusing more on composition. With SLR you tend to focus more on DOF (probably not everyone, but me).
I still have not decided how I am going to post my photos, will I post one picture everyday or will it be a weekly summary. It will depend a lot on my schedule. I might post recipes if I click something i cooked as well :). Let’s see how this evolves.
Day 1.365 – Strawberry Preserve
Strawberries are in season now here, so I tried to make a quick preserve. I have never made preserves before. This recipe will last good 2 weeks in the refrigerator. This recipe also uses no sugar so can be had guilt free to some extend :).
Recipe – Strawberry Preserve
Strawberries – about 1/2 kg
Honey – 1/4 cup
Jaggery (raw sugar) – 1/4 cup, granular, use mildest flavored jaggery
1 tbsp lemon juice or any orange liqueur like cointreau
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
2 old jam bottles
Wash the strawberries in warm water, pat it dry. Hull the strawberries and half them. In a non reactive pan, add the strawberries, lemon juice, jaggery and honey and bring it to a boil. Add the cored apple dices. Let them boil constantly for about 25 minutes till most of the liquid has been absorbed. The preserve will look thick. Adding apples gives a natural pectin to jam so it will set, don’t worry about that. While the jam is still hot, carefully remove the jam bottles from oven (or from hot water, see canning tips below). Immediately ladle the jam into the bottles filling 3/4. Replace with the hot lid. This needs to go in the refrigerator immediately and can be stored for around 2 weeks in fridge.
Bottle handling for canning
I am no expert on canning and whatever little I know was while browsing for this recipe. Canning is important if you want your preserves to last longer. My main purpose here was to make something which will last at the max for 2 weeks. So I did a basic cleaning for this. I first boiled the bottles in a huge pan along with the lids for roughly 10 minutes. Then I kept just the bottles not lid in a warm oven till the preserve was getting ready, for roughly 20 minutes. If not using oven, keep the jars in the boiling water. The lids were in hot water during that time.