Last year, a very kind lady on the site gave us enough of her strawberry surplus to make jam. The batch was so large that the very last jar is still in the fridge.
Unfortunately, this year we got quite slim pickings from the strawberry plot. We had enough to eat fresh, but no major gluts of strawberries to make into jam. I wasn't even a real fan of jam before we made our own, but it turned out to be one of those home mades that are really worth it.
The fresh, intense fruit taste was better than any shop bought equivalent. I have to admit that I am not that keen on the usual array of home-made combinations, like rhubarb jam with ginger or whatever, but plain old strawberry jam has been made into a million cream teas, puddings etc.
Punnets of strawberries going for a song in the supermarket, which I just couldn't resist. Only 80p each, but they had to be used quickly. Luckily it is one of the easiest things to make, even though I did only finish just before midnight.
Strawberry Jam1 kilo strawberries 1 kilo preserving sugar 2 tbsps of balsamic vinegar (or balsamic glaze in my case)
juice of 2 lemons Lots of clean jars, freshly run through the dishwasher
Comments: It doesn't actually taste of the lemon or balsamic, but they give it an extra kick. In the case of the lemon it provides the pectin to set the jam (or it is supposed to). In my experience, the recipe above with preserving sugar never bloomin sets, but it does look and taste gorgeous. An easier version is to use jam sugar, which has pectin added. It is cloudier and a bit more like the ones in the shops, but it does set.
- First you measure out 1kilo of strawberries and 1 kilo of sugar.
- Put them in a pan. I ripped up the strawberries because they were very large, but smaller ones can go in whole.
- Heat up slowly, but not too slowly, stirring every so often.
- Once it reaches the boil, time it and start testing after about 5 mins. Check by putting a teaspoon onto a saucer, and if it wrinkles, it is ready. Leave for a little while to cool down before filling jars and putting the lids straight on.
Tip: Leave the jars in the dishwasher until you are ready to fill them. I find this keeps them totally sterile and no need for further sterilising.
Serve with home-made scones, heated in microwave for 20 secs, plus clotted cream. Yum, and totally unhealthy.