Popped into our local fruit shop the other day and Queensland strawberries were on special. I usually wait till the end of winter for the prices to come down so I can buy a kilo or so for some easy jam making. Keep an eye out for them in your local area.
If you are a beginner in the jam making department then this is the recipe for you.
1 KILO STRAWBERRIES
1 KG CASTER SUGAR
JUICE OF TWO LEMONS
PLACE IN JAM PAN
COOK FOR APPROX. 20 MINUTES
Remove the green leafy part and if they are large strawberries halve or quarter them, you be the judge on how chunky you like your jam.
Lemons will give you that extra bit of pectin.
In a wide topped pan add strawberries, warmed sugar (I warm my sugar in the microwave) and the juice of 2 lemons.
Now this is the important bit.....
On a medium heat slowly stir the sugar and strawberries till the sugar is completely dissolved. It will be a really thick slurry but be patient, it will eventually turn into a glistening and easy to stir mixture. Place a saucer in the freezer, this is for later when you need to test the jam to see if it has set.
Turn up the heat as this will release all that pectin to make your jam set. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't bubble over!
While the jam is cooking, place some jars in a slow oven to heat. This will stop them from cracking when you put the boiling jam into them.
You will also need to skim off some of the scum. Don't worry it's not as bad as it seems, it's just trapped air and I usually wait towards the end of cooking before removing.
When the syrup starts to look.....syrupy.... it's time to do your jam set test.
After having boiled the jam for the 20 minutes or so, place a teaspoonful of the jam on to the chilled saucer. Let it cool back in the fridge, then give it a push with your finger, if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set, if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test.
Done..... now another little trick.... when you have whole fruit in your jam, take the pan off the cooktop and let it sit for 10 minutes. This will prevent the fruit from rising to the top when you pour into your jars, you want them evenly dispersed.
Ladle the jam into the jars making sure that you fill to the top.
Next day it's time to taste test....
What can I say.....there is absolutely no comparison to store bought Strawberry jam.
The vibrant red, the chunky but spreadable strawberries that sit prettily on the croissant and above all the divine smell.
The jam smells like REAL strawberries plucked from the garden....
If you are a jam making virgin, give this one a go.......