As with all simple recipes, the path to delicious and superior results lies in the details. It turns out, unlined, 100% solid copper jam pans go a long way in making perfectly textured and exquisitely fruity jams. Per usual, here’s a simple and classic strawberry jam recipe, followed by a quick summary of why copper has been used to make all sorts of jams, that’s right - for centuries!
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 4 cups white sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- The Mauviel 11 Qt Copper Jam Pan or the Sertodo Copper Jam Pan are both great choices for making jam!
- Put a small plate in the freezer to use later on for gel test (a test to perfect jam texture).
- In a wide bowl, crush strawberries and add sugar and lemon juice to the mixture.
- Add mixture to the copper pan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, around 7 minutes. (Adding the fruit in the pan only after combining it with sugar will prevent toxicity - the fruits will not react with the copper.)
- Increase heat to medium high to bring the mixture to a boil. Increase gradually so that you can see if medium heat is enough to get the mixture boiling. Your copper pan may bring the fruits to a boil on a lower heat than you might expect!
- Keep boiling and only stir to prevent scorching - for 10 minutes. Lower and adjust the heat if there’s scorching. After around 10 minutes, the foaming should ease off. Use a stainless steel spoon to remove any remaining foam at the surface.
- Continue cooking until foaming has eased and bubbling has slowed, the jam should start getting thicker and looking shiny. If you have a candy thermometer, it should read 220 degrees F.
- Perform a gel test: Place a small amount of jam on the cooled plate and put it back in the freezer. Wait 1 to 2 minutes and remove plate from the freezer. If the jam wrinkles slightly when you press on it gently with your fingertip, the jam is ready! If not, it needs to cook some more.
- Remove jam from heat. Transfer jam to jars (making sure to leave ½” headspace) and seal! Once they are cool, refrigerate and enjoy as you please!
Why use a copper jam pan?
Speed - Your strawberry jam can be prepared faster with a copper pan - preserving flavor and texture! Why? Copper is THE best heat conducting cooking material. This means that your copper pot will heat up faster and more evenly than cookware made of any other material. Speed is key as overly boiled fruits will lose flavor, and the jam quality will diminish.
Heat Control - Your fruit won’t break down any more than you want it to - again, preserving the flavor and integrity of the fruits - with a copper pan! Having exceptional heat conducting properties also mean that once the heat is taken away, copper cools immediately. When you have determined that your fruit mixture needs to stop boiling, you can turn the heat off and the jam in your copper pot will stop boiling immediately.
Size & Shape - Copper jam pots are large, shallow and wide. As a result, your fruity mixture will be spread out in a thin layer in the pot (thanks to the pan’s wide surface area), with minimal time needed for moisture to cook off (thanks to the pan’s shallow sides). This, again, means all of the fruit mixture will be able to cook away speedily - preserving that flavor!
Less Stirring - As mentioned above, copper’s superior heat conducting properties mean it not only distributes heat immediately, but also extremely evenly. This means more even cooking for your fruits and less stirring for you!
No Added Metal Flavors - Unlike other cookware materials, copper doesn’t affect flavor.
This recipe and commentary combines advice from pastry chef Nicole Krasinski, author of “Blue Chair Cookbook” Rachel Saunders, and baker Jennifer Latham.