Category Archives: How-to

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam (SCD & GFCF)

Today has been a super busy day for me, blog and food related. First, I’ve been continuing to revamp this blog – in big and little ways. There should be a post coming up soon about all the developments that have been going on here. It’s all by myself, I don’t have a hired blog developer or someone else who’s a computer and programming whizz to do it, so it’s been going slow and steady.

Next, there’s the food. I was hoping to make two videos today, but I may have to wait until tomorrow to do it. I made almond flour crepes, saving them for a project that I’m doing – it’s a surprise for next week for a very special something I’m doing and am excited about! They’re in the freezer now, each crepe separated by wax paper so that they don’t stick together and they’re easier to thaw when I’m ready to use them. Um, they were eaten by family members.  I’ll have to make more later. That project is still on, though! In the meantime, I have this strawberry jam to share that I made today.

Strawberries are just one of the most perfect fruits, and classy – it’s one of the three of what I consider classic ice cream flavours: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, respectively – or throw them all together and have Neopolitan ice cream. But today is not about ice cream. It’s about jam.

Only naturally occurring fruit pectin – the pectin that’s already in the fruit – is allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Extracted pectin, the kind that’s in powdered form and bought at the store, is not. I have never made jam or similar preserves with pectin as an added ingredient, so I cannot answer any questions about how to use it. To make SCD friendly jam, only the pectin that naturally occurs in the fruit is relied on.  No thickeners or other additives are used. Depending on the fruit used, plus amount of cooking time, it isn’t always as thick as commercial jams but it still thickens to a general jam consistency. A general rule of thumb: fruit that’s richer in pectin will result thicker jams than fruit that contains less pectin.

The recipe for this jam is very simple: fruit, water, and honey to taste. Use as much fruit as you like and only use enough water to cover the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching. Depending on how sweet the fruit already is, honey may not even be required. The following measurements are what I used, that I had on hand.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Ingredients:

About 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
Water
Honey to taste

Method:

Place the strawberries in a small pot and add water, enough to cover the bottom to prevent scorching. Cook over medium heat. As it thickens, it will start bubbling but not enough to cook over. Stir occasionally, adding more water if necessary, and add honey to taste. Cook until it’s thickened to preferred or desired consistency. For mine, I cooked it for about 30 minutes. The longer it cooks, the thicker it becomes. When it’s thick enough for you, remove from heat and transfer to a container or jar. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover and refrigerate. It will keep for a week in the fridge and up to 1 month in the freezer. Enjoy!

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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Lemon Curd, Two Ways (SCD & GFCF)

The usual or at least traditional method of making lemon curd is using it with a double boiler, or a stove-proof bowl stacked over a pot of simmering water. Another way, and generally faster, is cooking the lemon curd in the pot, over direct heat.

As this version is dairy-free, a small amount of coconut milk is used in place of butter and is added after the lemon curd is cooked. This is optional, but I find that the coconut milk helps dull the lemon’s acidic aftertaste and also makes the curd creamy, without it tasting like coconut in the slightest.

Though it is a choice of personal preference, it is sometimes a good idea to strain the lemon juice so that it doesn’t have pulp or those really fine little seeds. I usually use a precise measurement of 1/4 cup of honey, yet I leave the option of adding to taste open as some people I know prefer the lemon curd to be a little more on the tart side.

In the video, I show the measurement of the lemon juice twice – this is because I don’t consistently observe the differences between dry and liquid measuring cups. I thought measuring liquids using either was the same and didn’t make a difference, until I made the video and saw that 1/2 cup of lemon juice, using the dry ingredient-measuring cup, is actually less than what would be measured using a measuring cup meant for measuring liquid.

If doubling this recipe, increase the amount of all ingredients except for the lemon juice; flavour or consistency won’t be affected.

Ingredients

1/4 cup honey, or to taste
3 egg yolks
Juice from 2 large lemons (about 1/2 cup, or 21 tablespoons*)
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. coconut milk (optional)

*See above

Method: double boiler

  1. Heat a pot with some water over medium heat until it reaches a simmer (gently boiling). Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and honey as if making custard in a stove-proof bowl. Stir in the lemon juice.
  2. Balance the bowl on top of the pot (making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water) and cook the lemon curd for about 15 to 25 minutes or until thickened to a consistency similar to yogurt. It should coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove the lemon curd from heat and cool. Stir in the coconut milk if using. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Cool to room temperature before covering and store in the fridge.

Method: direct heat

  1. In a small saucepan mix together the egg yolks and honey; add the lemon juice. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring with a whisk or spoon until steaming but do not let it boil.
  2. Stir frequently and continue to cook until thickened and coats the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a container and cool to room temperature. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover and store in the fridge.

Video

This video is also available in smaller, shorter segments, with the two cooking techniques shown in their own individual videos. Click here and here to watch.

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Custard 012

Dairy-Free Custard (SCD & GFCF)

This entry is a little different than previously posted recipes because it is to supplement the how-to, step-by-step video I made about making a dairy-free custard. This custard is the standard recipe that I use for other recipes requiring custard or sometimes substituting yogurt in sweet things such as, but not limited to, baked goods, which I will be blogging in the near future.

I’ve included some serving suggestions, as well as additional tips, following the instructions below. The leftover egg whites can be saved and used in another recipe. If you don’t have a double boiler, stack a stove-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Be sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

If doubling this recipe, you may use the original measurement of coconut oil if you wish. It isn’t necessary to increase the amount due to the coconut oil’s richness. Whether you double it or not, the custard’s flavour and consistency won’t be affected either way.

[Update July 2010: this recipe is also available in the Cook IT Allergy Free app, available from iTunes]

Ingredients

5 to 6 egg yolks
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup to 1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Method

  1. Beat the egg yolks and honey together and add the coconut milk. Cook the custard over medium heat  double boiler style (stove-proof bowl balanced over a pot of simmering water, make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water) for 35 minutes until thickened to a yogurt-like consistency (it should coat a spoon); an additional 10 minutes may be needed if it still isn’t thick enough at the end of the cooking time.  If it still isn’t thick after 10 minutes, refer to the following suggestion in the second paragraph below (after step 2).
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the oil, adding the oil in a steady stream. The custard and oil will separate but keep on going; as you continue it will gradually smooth out. Add the vanilla and cool. Serve the custard in bowls with the prepared fruit (see below for suggestions).

Whether you use five or six egg yolks doesn’t affect the custard overall; depending on the amount, when doubling the recipe use eight to ten or twelve egg yolks, and so on. It isn’t exact math, but these are the amounts of egg yolks I have used when doubling the custard. I know this may sound confusing, but sometimes I have fallen short of one or two yolks and in my experience this small difference doesn’t affect the overall outcome of the custard. I’m not always precise in my measurements. when making this custard recipe. The egg yolks’ colour can also affect the colour of the custard – while usually a pale yellow, if you are using egg yolks that are a darker colour, such as orange, the custard will be a similar colour.

The thickness of the coconut milk also contributes to the thickness of the custard in addition to the egg yolks. Sometimes the custard will have hardly thickened at all, even after it’s completed its cooking time. I’ve had this case scenario many times. If this is the case, rest assured there is nothing wrong. I know the natural impulse could be to grab the cornstarch or try to find something else to thicken it, but in this case all that’s required is  a little refrigeration. Once you’ve added the coconut oil and vanilla and it’s cooled enough, cover it and chill in the fridge – it will thicken. Chill it for a few hours or overnight; how much it thickens depends on how long you leave it in the fridge. After two days, the custard thickens to a spreadable consistency.

Serving Ideas

Custard pairs extremely well with a variety of fruit, a favourite being fresh organic strawberries. Organic strawberries are ultimately sweeter than the conventional type. Strawberries are also better when they’re in season.

Other fruit ideas are ripe banana (a rich treat), nectarine, peach, plum, raspberries, apple, and pear. Pear is absolutely excellent eaten with custard! The custard and pear’s flavours sort of compliment each other, the overall flavour is creamy and it sort of offsets the richness of the custard. This is also the same case for apple. You may also use a combination of the aforementioned fruit. Other fruit possibilities may be tried with the custard; those that I have listed are what I have tried with the custard so far. Enjoy!

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