Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Strawberry Jam

I've been wanting to attempt this for some time, so i finally got around to it last weekend. Easier than i thought and much nicer than shop bought jam. This recipe makes loads, so we'll be eating it all winter.

To make six 454g (1lb) jars

You need:

2kg (4lb) Strawberries (hulled and halved or quartered if they are big)
100ml (6tbsp) Lemon juice
1.75kg (3½lb) Jam making sugar (from the sugar aisle in the supermarket)
A diced sized knob of butter

Put a handful of the Strawberries into a Preserving Pan or the largest saucepan you can get your hands on. Do not use an unlined aluminium pan....Crush them to release the juice.

Add the rest of the Strawberries and the Lemon juice.

Add the sugar, heat and stir slowly to draw out the rest of the juice and dissolve the sugar.

Boil quickly until the setting point is reached. This took me approx 3 mins. If you have a sugar thermometer, boil the jam until it reaches 220f or 105c, then carry out the setting test (see note below)

Add a knob of butter and stir well. Apparently, this helps to stop a scum forming. If a scum does form, skim it off with a slotted spoon. Then let the jam cool until a skin forms on the surface. Stir gently.

Pour into sterilised jars and seal. (see note below)

Setting Test

At the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test.

Sterilising Your Jars

To sterilise jam jars, just put them through a cycle of the dishwasher, or you can wash them in hot soapy water and then dry in a low oven for 10-15 minutes. If possible, always use the jam jars that come with the pre-waxed lids. If you can't get them, then seal the jam with a waxed paper circle before screwing the lid on.

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