Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Making jam is actually pretty easy all you need is good quality strawberries and the best way is to pick your own. I visited Copas farm in Buckinghamshire on an outing with the family. The children got to pick their own fruits and eventually we made a good use of creating this wonderful strawberry jam.
1kg of fresh strawberries
1kg of jam sugar (sugar with pectin)
1 lemon juice
Small knob of butter (optional)
Rinse the strawberries and strain
Using a knife hull the fruit to cut a cone shape into the strawberries and remove the steam. Cut any large berries in half.
Put the strawberries in a reasonable sized pot on low heat
Squeeze the lemon juice in and gently stir for 2 min for the strawberries to loosen.
Add the jam sugar and Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
When you can no longer feel any grains of sugar remaining, turn up the heat to start bubbling the jam and bringing it to the boil.
Boil hard for 20-30 mins until the jam has reached 105C on a preserving or digital thermometer, then turn off the heat.
If you don’t have a thermometer, spoon a little jam onto a cold saucer. Leave for 30 secs, then push with your finger; if the jam wrinkles and doesn’t flood to fill the gap, it is ready. If not, turn the heat back on and boil for 2 mins more, then turn off the heat and do the wrinkle test again. Repeat until ready.
Use a spoon to skim any scum that has risen to the surface and discard this
Add a knob of butter, if you like, to the finished jam, and stir in to melt. This will help to dissolve any remaining scum that you haven’t managed to spoon off the top. Leave the jam to settle for 15 mins – this will ensure that the fruit stays suspended in the mixture and doesn’t all float to the top of the jam jar.
Meanwhile, sterilise your jars.
Ladle into warm jars, filling to just below the rim, then cover with a lid Pop on a label include the date. The jam can be stored for up to one year in a cool, dry place. Refrigerate after opening.
Now sit and relax enjoy your own make with a nice cup of tea.
To sterilize the jars
wash the jars in soapy water and rinse in clean warm water. Allow them to drip-dry, upside down, on a rack in the oven set to 140C/275F/Gas 1. Leave them there for at least half an hour while you make the jam.
Jam sugar contain pectin, which is used to produce preserves as gelling agent. In other words it helps to set the jam. You can use normal sugar but make sure the sugar is dissolved before starting the fast boil and constantly stir to prevent from burning. Finishing touch will end in fairly runny jam.
Home-made jam makes a great gift. Get creative and make nice labels for different jars. Something to get the whole family involved.