I might be too late here, but strawberries are everywhere and they’re delicious and cheap.
So of course I made jam. Who wouldn’t right?
I’m being sarcastic….I know nobody makes jam anymore and that is why I am bucking the trend and strapping on my apron (not really….I just have a lot of stains on my clothes) to encourage you, my friends to make your own strawberry jam.
It’s not hard at all and the results are better than you might expect.
By simply mashing up and boiling down a few strawberries with some sugar, you get a delightfully tasty, tangy and sweet syrup, rich in colour and flavour.
The recipe I use asks for 6 cups of sugar per 1 kg of hulled strawberries, but who has a kilo strawberries lying around?
So if a punnet is about 250g (1000/4) , that makes it about 1.5 cups (6/4) of sugar per punnet of strawberries.
My recipe also asks for tartaric acid, but I just use a squeeze of lemon juice.
Why lemon juice? To add a little zing, which I like in a jam and also because lemon juice is high in pectin, the setting agent for jams.
Apparently citrus pips are high in pectin too, so if you’re really keen you can collect some lemon seeds and throw those in the pan wrapped in some muslin.
But who are we kidding?
Strawberry Jam Recipe
1 punnet strawberries, hulled.
1.5 (or a little less) of sugar.
A squeeze of lemon juice.
Put strawberries in a pan and mash with your potato masher, till they are all broken and bruised and juicy.
Stir and boil for few minutes.
Add lemon juice and boil another few minutes.
Pour into sterilised jars and seal while hot.
Notes on the Recipe
Don’t worry about how long you stir for….I don’t think you can really over cook strawberry jam…so if you’re a couple of minutes over don’t worry.
And don’t worry if your jam doesn’t end up solid…actually, mine’s always kind of runny and I like it like that. It still spreads on bread and scones.
And it tastes so good, nobody will mind if it’s a little runny. Besides, you can perfect this sort of thing once you’ve demystified the whole process.
Don’t be afraid of jar sterilisation. It’s as easy as putting them through the dishwasher, or washing them in hot water and soap.
Stick the jars in a medium oven for a while, along with the lids.
Make your jam, and when you’re finished boiling up the jam, the jars will be ready to go. Dry and hot.
Putting hot jam into hot jars and then sealing up will create a vacuum seal inside the jar, once you’ve put the lid on.
Please use tongs to move your hot glass jars around…and use a tea towel to screw on the lids…or you’ll burn yourself.
Stand the jars upside down to aid even distribution of the fruit and bulky bits inside the jar.
As you can see I got my son to draw me a strawberry for my jar. Just on a piece of paper that I taped on. Simple and yet so charming.