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BackstoryVery easy to make and the best jam you will ever have, I have done some batches with black pepper, some with chilli and I feel that plain is best. The jewel colour and the clear, bright flavour is especially good with home made scones and cream or indeed straight out of the jar! I have made 30lbs this year and I'm doing the last batch of the season right now, this is what you do:
- Hull and half 2 1/2 pounds of washed strawberries
- 1 1/4 lb white sugar
- Juice of 1 or 2 lemons - depends how sweet you want your jam
- Before you start, put a white saucer or tea plate in the freezer, you will need this for testing for set later.
- To cook the jam you need to use a non-reactive metal preserving pan or a very large pan as the sugar will boil right up. Place a cooks thermometer on the side of the pan if you have one, they don't cost very much and it does make life a lot easier. Heat the sugar and lemon gently in ithe pan and then add the strawberries. Stir gently and then bring to a fast boil, turn down the heat if there is danger of boiling over. When the temperature reads 225/230 it will be done. To test for set put about half a teaspoon full of jam on the cold plate, leave it for about 15 seconds and push your finger along the plate into the jam. If the jam wrinkles slightly it is done. Skim off the froth from the top of the jam, let it cool for a few minutes - this helps the strawberries to stay in suspension. Pot and seal the jam.
- Sterilising jars
- I use screw top glass jars (old jam jars, don't use pickle jars as there will be a taint). Place them on a cold baking tray and put in a cold oven before you start the jam. Heat the oven to about 160C and leave them in there until ready to pot. I also put the tops in, it doesn't seem to hurt the seals. Occasionally you might get a mould growth in a jar, this doesn't affect the jam and it isn't harmful, just remove the top layer. I do keep jam in the fridge once it is opened and unopened jars are kept in a cool, dry and dark place.