Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam on Toast

Whilst I've been languishing in bed, Pauline's been busy. She's made the Rhubarb Chutney and has now rubbed my nose in it by making strawberry jam - a job I detest. I'm no jam maker as you'll see if you read of my previous exploits and strawberry is my bête noir, the damnable stuff never sets properly when I make it! Needless to say, Pauline's was fine first time! Granted, for the first batch she used jam sugar which has added pectin, but for the second she just used ordinary granulated sugar and that's set just as well. Pauline used a recipe from Sophie Grigson which macerates the strawberries in the sugar. On seeing the method, Mum remembered that she used to do the same technique and that, when she did, her jam set well - not like recently when it's not been setting very well - it begs the question, "Why did you stop then?" - Nah, best not to ask! It seems that the daft gene isn't confined to my generation of our family!

Recipe

1kg strawberries
1kg granulated sugar or caster sugar
juice of half a lemon
knob of butter

Macerate halved, hulled, undamaged strawberries in half the sugar over-night.

Strawberries and sugar

The next day put a plate into the freezer to cool - we'll use this later. The strawberries will have given of quite a lot of liquid.

Strawberries and sugar after maceration

Put all this, the lemon and the rest of the sugar in a pan and bring it gently to a boil making sure that all the sugar dissolves.

Strawberries and sugar for jam  heating

Boil it for 10 minutes and then test it for a 'set' every 5 minutes - put a little bit onto the plate you put to cool earlier and put it in the fridge for a minute or so to cool, then push your finger through the jam, if the jam wrinkles and leaves a clear track, it's done. If not continue to boil and test. It may take up to half an hour.

Strawberries and sugar for jam  cooking

When it's done stir in the butter - this will reduce the amount of foam.

Strawberry jam nearly cooked

Bottle into jars that have been sterilised by heating in an oven at 100°C for 5 minutes. Seal with lids or use jam covers and wax papers to seal.

The finished Strawberry jam

Then enjoy it for breakfast on your toast.

Strawberry Jam on Toast


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