Sunday, 19 July 2015

Recipe: strawberry jam

Borrowed from Google with thanks.
I'm sure I have posted about this before but seeing as I made some last week I thought it was worth another write up.

I know people talk about setting issues with strawberry jam because strawberries are low in pectin but I get round that by using jam sugar (I got some in Aldi, great value) and also adding a squeeze of lemon juice.  I've never had a jam not set although once I had to reboil!

Fresh strawberries
jam sugar
squeeze of lemon

Prepare the strawberries by pulling or cutting out the leafy bit and any hard core.  Try to keep the berries as whole as possible but cut off any soggy bits.

If you use the saucer method for testing set, put them in the fridge now.  Also get the jars ready.  I wash them and place them on an oven tray and in a just turned on oven.  Works a treat.

Weigh the prepared berries and add the same weight of jam sugar.  Carefully mix together and leave for an hour or so.  This draws some moisture out of the berries, enabling them to stay whole in the finished jam.  Place in a maslin (or other suitable) pan and heat very slowly, stirring from time to time, until all the sugar has dissolved.  Add the lemon juice and stir again.

Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring well.  Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until the jam looks as if it might be setting on the sides of the pan.  Remove the pan for the heat and check using a cold saucer.

If set, add a knob of butter to reduce the scum and skim off any remaining scum.  What you skim off is perfectly edible.  It sets foamy and can be added to yogurt, etc, if you don't fancy it on toast.  Waste not, want not, etc.  Leave the jam for about ten minutes before giving it another stir.  This is because the jam has reached setting point and cooled a bit and doing this will stop the berries from rising to the top of the jar, will keeping them evenly distributed.

Decant into warm and clean jars and cover immediately.  Label when cool.

If not set, repeat the boiling and checking process until setting point is reached.

If by any chance the setting isn't as firm as you want, you can always pour it all back into the pan, reboil and recheck.

Home made strawberry jam is nectar.  There's little quite as delicious.  It's well worth the effort, especially if you have a pick your own farm nearby.  I got my berries on special from Morrisons which makes the jam a bit more expensive, I think, but still wonderful!
Mmmmmm - delicious!
The saucer setting test, aka the wrinkle test, works a treat.  I never use any other way now.
See here.

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