If I was to pick just one jam to take away to a desert island (or should that be dessert island!), it would be strawberry. I adore it. It peps up my porridge in winter, the jewel on the crown of a cream tea, essential for a Victoria sponge and who would say no to simple strawberry jam sandwich? And whats more its dead easy to make, virtually makes itself. The varieties we have in our strawberry patch are a mix of ‘Cambridge Favourite’, ‘Florence’ and an everbearer ‘Albion’. ‘Florence’ are my favourites. They are a lovely big mid-season strawberry, dark red all the way through. The plant is large and bushy and hold their fruits high but also disguising them from foe.
What with the bumper crop of Strawberries we’ve had this season I managed to get two batches of this jam made, on top of plenty of handfuls on top of our breakfast, stewed with rhubarb and again coupled with rhubarb in an epic crumble! Most strawberry jam recipes you’ll find are all much of a muchness, therefore mine here is nothing special. What makes it special is you make it from your own unique batch of strawberries, from your own patch. Tiptree who?
Makes approx 5 standard size jam jars
1kg Strawberries (any variety you have)
1kg Sugar (granulated or special jam sugar)
Juice of one lemon
Washed and sterlised jam jars and wax discs
Saucer to test setting point in freezer
1. Hull and slice your strawberries keeping some small ones whole. Add to your preserving pan with lemon juice.
2. Very gently heat until the strawberries begin to soften and release their lovely juices.
3. Add the sugar and stir gently but throughly until all the sugar has dissolved.
4. Attach jam thermometer if using, increase the heat stirring occasionally to prevent fruit burning.
5. When boiling point is reached test a few blobs of the jam on your chilled saucer. If the jam wrinkles and gives resistance to touch the jam ready. Setting point is around 104c but with practice you can tell by smell, consistency and thickness across the back spoon when setting is approaching.
6. Remove from heat, stir and skim off the scum.
7. pour your jam into your clean and sterlised jars. I sterlise my jars by washing jars and lids in hot soapy water, drying throughly and heating in a low oven around 90c upturned on the oven shelf whilst I make the jam and boil the lids on the hob to protect the rubber seals. Once jars are full to top, apply wax disc, wipe jar and tighten on lids immediately.
There you have it, strawberry jam. The jars if prepared well will keep for around 12 months. But to be honest they very rarely see six months in our house.