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Growing up in rural Bavaria means eating lots of fruit - in season, that is!
We certainly did in my family. My mom's garden had rows and rows of juicy strawberries, a cherry tree, plum trees and big bushes of red and black currants which were mostly destined for jams.
Throughout summer both my grandma and mother would relentlessly pick the ripe fruits off the trees and turn them into delicious desserts, cakes, clafoutis and juicy, sweet jams.
Summer in the middle of Europe only lasts about two months so you have to make the most of it and prepare yourself for a long winter to come.
There is nothing more delightful to me than opening a jar of homemade jam and spreading it on top of a freshly buttered sourdough bread.
Both my sister and I have taken over the tradition to create a staple of jars with all sorts of fruit combinations during summer. Mom still makes the best, though!
Making jam is quick and easy but you have to get the ingredients right: Make sure you only choose fresh, organic produce. Fruit trees are some of the highest sprayed foods and pesticides do not simply 'wash off'.
Homegrown is cheapest and best, or go to a local fruit orchard you trust. Buy only what looks fresh and in season as faulty fruits can make your jam moldy.
Lastly, add lots of lemon and as little sweetener as you possibly need. Fruit is high in natural sugar and you find you really don't need that much extra. Both the lemon and sugar will help conserve your jam for many months.
600 g of fruit (450 g of strawberries, 150 g of rhurbarb)
Mix any fruit/berry combination by using about 600 g of fruit with 100 to 150 g of natural sweetener or sugar. If you have a very sweet tooth add extra.
120 g of sweetener (maple/apple syrup or honey)
Juice of one large lemon
Wash and sterilise jars and lids in boiling water.
Thoroughly wash your fruit and cut out all damaged parts.
Place fruit in a saucepan and stir through the sweetener. Add the lemon juice and bring to boil while constantly stirring.
Boil your jam for a total of 3 to 5 minutes. This short heating process will keep most of the minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron).
Divide fruit between the jars then fill with jam. Allow to cool and seal with lids. Once completely cooled tightened your lids again.
Jam will keep up to 12 months if fresh fruit is used and the jars are properly sterilised.
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