There is a certain pleasure that comes from making Jam that really does make the time and effort worth while. Yes, there always is the supermarket option but then your house wouldn’t be filled with the sweet aroma of boiling fruit, those Jam jars you’ve saved and have cluttered your cupboards would never get used and its a great feeling giving away a pot of your own Jam to your family or friends.
Makes 3 Jars. You will need a large saucepan, ideally a Jam/Sugar thermometer but don’t worry if you don’t and three Jam jars.
Strawberries – 1kg, hulled and quartered.
Sugar – 400g
Lemon juice – 3 ( around 150ml) *see tips regarding quantity
Boil a kettle of water and place the jam jars into the sink, pour the boiling water onto them and leave them for 10 minutes to sterilise.
Take a large saucepan and add the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Heat this on a medium heat until it starts to simmer and then increase the heat to full heat and boil. Keep stirring every so often to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. You will notice it foams up at the beginning quite a lot so be careful your pan is large enough and it doesn’t bubble over. It will then reduce as you continue cooking.
If you have a thermometer, place it into the Jam. If you don’t, just place a plate into the freezer and you can test on this. The Jam will need to boil for 20-30 minutes and as it thickens, do make sure you watch the bottom and stir it. You want the thermometer, ideally to reach 105°c, which is a good temperature reading for Jam. I actually took this batch off at 103°c because it looked good to me and I think my thermometer was asleep. You can always test it on the frozen plate. Just drop a little on to the plate and it will thicken. If the consistency looks good then its ready.
Take the jam off the heat, scrape off any unwanted white foam on the top and leave to cool in the saucepan for 20 minutes at least before you decant it. Remove the water from the sterilised jars and leave to dry. When the jam is ready spoon it into the jars, cover it with a cut circle of wax paper or parchment and seal. This will keep fine but I would advise putting it in the fridge after opening it.
– This recipe is a quite lemony simply because I love a little acidity and not too much sweet. If you don’t like this, increase the sugar to 500g and reduce the lemon juice to 1 or 2 lemons. The lemon also helps to set the Jam and as I haven’t used pectin or jam sugar I always increase it.