Thursday, May 08, 2014

Early and Uncaptured Jade Pearl Rice with Fingerling Potatoes and Corn; First Attempt at Strawberry Jam underway

I don't have a picture of today's dinner because - well, did we have one dinner? My wife, daughter, and I went strawberry picking (and brought home about 18 pounds of 'Sweet Charlie' and half a pound of 'Early Glow' varieties) shortly after my wife finished working. I knew we'd be back late, so hurriedly put a dish together (thanks to the Instant Pot for enabling "fast food"!) that I served as a snack - but it ended up being my wife's dinner (I ate a bit more later).

All I did was put into the Instant Pot a bit (maybe 1/2 cup) of Jade pearl rice, a vegan bouillon cube, a half dozen fingerling potatoes cut into 3/4" or so lengths, and maybe 1/8 cup frozen corn kernels, and cooked in 6 minutes of high pressure. It was good! I served it on small plates with crackers and tomato slices.

I've never made jams or jellies, but have been thinking of giving strawberry jam a try in my pressure cooker. I found online a strawberry freezer jam recipe that looked good and which I used as a base for experimentation. I also found a low sugar freezer jam recipe and a strawberry and honey recipe that I could replicate with Bee Free Honee.

Here is what I am doing with the first recipe. I used a pint mason jar to measure. Into the Instant Pot bowl I put:
  • 3 pints hulled strawberries, with medium sized ones halved and large ones cut into maybe fifths
  • 1 1/8 (I was trying a ratio of 1 : 3/8, or a bit under half as much sugar by volume as strawberries) pints sugar (I had to go out to buy sugar as we don't typically have it in stock)
  • 1 tangerine, peeled and segmented, with segments cut into quarters
  • 1/2 t of finely diced ginger
  • About 5 mint leaves, roughly hand shredded
  • Maybe 3T of port
I mixed then used a potato masher to gently press the strawberry into a bit smaller pieces. I'm letting it all sit for about a day, and then, according to the recipe, I plan to:
  • Use the sauté feature (which I've not used yet) of the pressure cooker to bring the mixture to a boil for 3m, stirring frequently and avoiding splashes
  • Close the lid and cook under high pressure for 8m. It's important to realize that the jam could be sucked into the pressure release valve, so I will then give the pot ample time to come down in pressure to minimize that chance, which would require more careful cleanup.
  • Back in sauté mode, I will bring the mixture back to a boil for another 3m, stirring.
  • I'll turn the Instant Pot off and occasionally stir till the mixture comes to room temperature; setting will complete when the jam is well chilled in the refrigerator.
It should be good!

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At Sat May 10, 04:27:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

This made about 1 3/4 pints, and was a little sweeter than necessary. So, it looks like, provided that quantities are approximately a few pints of strawberries (the recipe doesn't necessarily multiply), next time I'll try something like:

1 part strawberry, bit less than 1/3 part sugar, and 1 tangerine per 3 or 4 pints strawberries. The ginger was barely noticeable, so maybe a teaspoon or even more could be used per 3 pints. The port was about right - a tablespoon per pint of strawberries. The yield is just over half of the strawberry quantity.

I only sampled the jam warm and will try it once it has set overnight in the refrigerator. It seems promising!


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