Sincere apologies for not posting a recipe sooner.
We were on holiday in Japan – (more details here – in a few days). It was hectic and beautiful, raw, and a completely new experience for us. PS – you must have seen the Instagram updates? I posted all the different kinds of food we ate there. (I hope you are connected to my Instagram? It’s the same as the name of the blog – therecipelarder)
We have a farm in Mahabaleshwar. It’s 2 years old, and we have managed this year, to grow loads and loads of veggies. By the time I made the strawberry jam, the temperatures were already soaring and some of the vegetable plants had lost their jive. But the ones that live, fill me with awe. Awe because – hey! we are growing and eating our own vegetables. That’s a big dream come true for me.
Just a year ago the farm was a barren land of red mud and stones. The only greenery that could be seen was the forest surrounding the farm. As it is, because of the heavy rains in Mahabaleshwar, we have restricted variety of flora and fauna. While the fruits are not plenty, vegetables seem to thrive there. Especially the ones which grow on the ground (bottle gourd, watermelon, strawberry.) and vegetable plants which have not very huge tall growing stems.
Mulberries and strawberries prosper there. They grow easily and aplenty.
mulberries in all stages.
I got this recipe from a long time Mahabaleshwar resident. Mr Jaysing Mariwala. (read about him in the link!) He told me to wait till the fag end of the strawberry season, to make the Jam. The reason, he said was because the strawberries are more sugary, plumb and juicier after the sun gets stronger, post-winter.
The variety we grow is called Sweet Charlie. They are smaller than the other varieties and sweeter and the same time there is a subtle tartness to it. And unfortunately, the shelf life is very small too.
The strawberries are first mixed with sugar and lemon ( since no pectin is used – lemon acts as a preservative). Then they are crushed by hand (and oh! the fragrance!) and left in the sun for a few days. Since Mahabaleshwar sun is hot and intense I love making the Jam there.
Since the jam has no preservative, you will need to refrigerate it. I live in Mumbai, where the humidity levels are very high and the heat higher. So I have no choice.