So Mr. Ivriniel and I are Steampunks. Steampunk started out as a literary genre of Science Fiction, but has expanded into cosplay and even into people’s life styles! Jake Von Slatt of the Steampunk Workshop is a great example of someone who brings steampunk into his day to day life.
Now we’re nowhere close to the Venerable Mr. Von Slatt, but I try to bring bits and pieces into my workaday life, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Steampunk Cookery is a great blog to go to for inspiration. The author of that blog, Aaron, is a trained chef, who delights in digging up old recipes and modernizing them.
For me, Steampunk in the kitchen includes canning and preserving the way people in the Victorian era would have. With the addition of the Pimm’s liqueur, an ingredient first made 1823, this jam recipe feels steampunk to me. I could totally see serving this up as part of an afternoon tea with scones, or in jam-filled cookies or tarts. Sadly, as you can see, all I had at the moment to eat it with was some Premium Plus crackers, but it was not bad that way, either.
Last spring, I made this wonderful dessert from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home cookbook: Grilled Strawberries with Pimms and Vanilla Ice Cream. It was delicious!
Later in the year, I picked up a copy of the wonderful Food in Jars Cookbook, and started frequenting the the blog. The author, Marisa McClellan, runs regular challenges calling on people to come up with their own jam recipes. Also somewhere along the line I came across a recipe for roasted strawberry jam. This made me think that the Jamie Oliver dessert might be a good jumping off point for a tasty jam.
So last year I experimented in making a Strawberry Ginger Pimm’s Jam. It was tasty, but I forgot to make notes, so I’m not sure what I did. That’s not happening this time!
So I decided to give it another go today. I found a recipe for Strawberry Pimm’s Jam and decided to use that along with the Jamie Oliver recipe as starting points. I also decided to half the recipe, as I did not want to use 1.5 kg of strawberries, only to have it not turn out.
Notes on some of the ingredients:
Pimm’s is an gin-based, orange-flavoured liqueur from the UK. Your local liquor store should have it.
Stem Ginger is ginger shoots candied in syrup. They are a lot less woody than the whole ginger root found in the produce department of the grocery store. I bought my bottle in a British Food Shop.
The Jamie Oliver recipe calls for you to add syrup from the stem ginger bottle. However, the syrup level in my bottle was getting a little low, and I had a bottle of Meredith’s Ginger Syrup on hand, so I used that instead. Meredith’s is only sold in very limited locations. I managed to pick up a bottle at Spirit Tree Cidery, though I forget what I wanted it for.
The recipe also makes use of a special type of sugar called jam sugar or as I know it, Quick Set for Jam. It has pectin already mixed into it to jell the jam.
750 g (1 1/2 lb) of strawberries
3 pieces of stem ginger in syrup
5 tbsp of Meredith’s ginger syrup
500 g (approx 2 1/4 c.) of Quick Set for Jam Sugar
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 an orange
2 tbsp Pimm’s, plus a couple of splashes
- Turn your broiler on high and put a couple of saucers in the freezer.
- Wash and hull your strawberries and put them top down in a 9 by 13 baking pan. Slice any really large strawberries in half and put them cut side down.
- Dice your stem ginger, and combine it in a bowl with the ginger syrup and a couple of splashes of Pimm’s.
- Pour the mixture over the strawberries and roast them in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes until bubbly.
- Pour your strawberry mixture into a large saucepan or jam pan. Add your Quick Set for Jam sugar and heat over low heat until the sugar is entirely
- Meanwhile juice your lemon and orange. I like to put my small grater over the bowl to catch the orange and lemon pips as I use my citrus reamer.
- When the sugar has all dissolved, add your lemon and orange juices to the pot and turn up the heat.
- Cook the jam until the temperature registers 105˚C (221˚F). Then set a timer and continue to cook the jam for 10 minutes.
- Get one of your saucers out of the freezer. Put a tsp of the jam on the frozen saucer and put it in the fridge for one minute. When the minute is up, run your finger through the jam. If the jam “wrinkles”, in response to your finger movement then it is done. If not, let it cook for another two minutes and try again.
- Pour in your 2 tbsp of Pimm’s.
- Fill your canning jars and seal them in a hot water bath. Complete jar processing instructions can be found here.ResultsI ended up with 3 1/2 – 1/2 pint jars of strawberry jam with some lovely gingery bits here and there. The citrus from the juice and Pimm’s is subtle, but it does contribute a bit. I think I might try adding some orange zest the next batch I make.