Here is a simple but perfect recipe for delicious strawberry jam. Making jam can be very satisfying and something everyone can try, plus you have total control over the quality of ingredients, and you can ensure no hidden extras, like artificial colouring or sweeteners. To save buying jam jars keep a few old jars if the lids are not too good cellophane lids held with a rubber band and finished with string are just as good. Wash old jam jars and sterilise them in a warm oven 180C, 350F, Gas 4 for 10 minutes minutes. Keep the jars warm until the jam is ready.
Before starting the jam process you will need a large heavy bottom pan with enough room to allow the jam to boil, plus once all the ingredients are in the pan it should only be half full. You will also need oven gloves, long-handled wooden spoon for stirring, a slotted spoon for skimming, a teaspoon, several cold saucers, kitchen paper, waxed discs, a ladle and sterilised jam jars, labels, lids or tops to seal the jars.
Strawberries must be ripe, but not overripe, and any mouldy ones removed.
Jam is a mixture of fruit and sugar, it must be boil long enough to set but not stiff. The jam should have good colour, clear not cloudy and have a fruity taste.
Makes 6 x 225ml jars
Preparation and cooking time 25 minutes.
- 1kg Strawberries hulled and wiped with damp kitchen paper
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1kg granulated sugar
- Small knob of butter
- Before you start, put several small saucers in the freezer.
- Put the strawberries into a large pan with the lemon juice.
- Bring the pan to a slimmer approximately 10 minutes, to soften the fruit.
- Add the sugar and cook gently, stirring until all the sugar as dissolved.
- Bring the jam quickly to boiling point and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. For strawberry jam that is around 5 to 10 minutes.
- As the jam boils scum will appear around the edges, this can be removed with the slotted spoon.
- The jam is almost ready when the fast-rolling boil changes to a much slower boil. The jam will start to look thicker in consistency and glossy.
- At this point take the pan off the heat and test for a set by putting a teaspoon of jam onto a chilled saucer and tilt to spread it out, leave to cool for a few minutes then push the mixture with your finger to see if it wrinkles and doesn't run back into a pool.
- If the jam is not ready, returned to to the heat and boil for a few minutes more and retest.
- Once ready take off the heat and add a knob of butter to disperse the remaining scum.
- Ladle into the warm sterilised jars. Fill to the brim.
- Pop on the wax disc to seal and the lid or cellophane top.
- Allow the jars to cool before labelling.
Quick and simple: Enjoy!