making strawberry jam

by Sarah Nusz

Now that our local strawberries are ready, I shall be making a big batch of strawberry jam, mmmmm…… strawberry…. jam….., surely two of the most evocative words in the culinary language.  Strawberry jam is summer in a jar; it is scones for tea; fresh croissant for breakfast;  it is the jam that takes us back to our childhood…..

making strawberry jam

By a happy coincidence, it is also one of the easiest jams to make, the natural pectin in the little ruby red fruits ensuring a jam that sets easily without needing to be overcooked and risking spoiling the flavour.

At home we grow our strawberries in large pots on the terrace, they are easier to control and less of a temptation to passing birds!

FRESH STRAWBERRIES FOR JAM MAKING

To make quite a few pots of fresh jam you will need  5 lbs of tasty strawberries, 3 lbs  (6 cups) of sugar and the juice of a lemon or two.

Pop a couple of old saucers into the freezer, you will need these for testing whether the jam is set.  Also have your jam jars ready, squeaky clean, and slightly warm.

Remove the stalks and cut up the strawberries, pop them into a saucepan with the sugar and the lemon juice.  I leave this for a couple of hours so the fruit begins to juice.

MAKING STRAWBERRY JAM

Turn on a gentle heat until all the sugar is melted.  Once everything is melted then turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a boil.  Let it boil (not too hard) for 10-15 minutes. After about 10 minutes put a little of the mixture onto one of the cold saucers and do the ‘wrinkle’ test.  If, when you push your finger against the blob of jam the surface crinkles, then your jam is ready.  If it is still liquid then you need to boil it for a few more minutes.

The less time your jam boils, the better and fresher the flavour will be.

When you are satisfied with the consistency, turn off the heat, and let the jam cool for a while.  Pour into individual pots and seal.  When the pots are cooled, wash them carefully to make sure no jam has dribbled down the side, then stick on a pretty label

1 comment

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