Homemade Strawberry Jam

The strawberries are blooming in the garden and spring will bring a bumper crop. In Sydney strawberries are particularly cheap and abundant so if you have never tried making jam why not give it a try. There is nothing better than a good spoonful of homemade strawberry jam to spread on your toast or to dollop on your scones with cream. This recipe will help you discover the delicious flavour but most importantly the wonderful spreadable, consistency of a good homemade strawberry jam.

Strawberries picture

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg Strawberries
  • 1.125 kg Sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 knob of butter (optional)

Method:

  1. Wash jam jars in hot soapy water, rinsing them well and put them on an oven tray.
  2. Wipe the strawberries with damp kitchen paper and hull the stem and core out. Leave whole for chunky jam or cut in half or smaller as desired for a more spreadable jam. I have chosen to cut the strawberies in half

    img_20160919_225813-strawberries-5
    The strawberries hulled and cut in half.
  3. Place the sugar in a large bowl and cover with the strawberries
  4. Gently toss the strawberries through the sugar and set aside overnight, covering the bowl loosely with some cheesecloth

    img_20160919_230205-strawberries-6
    Strawberries macerating in sugar.
  5. Next day put put a saucer in the freezer and place the jar lids and stainless steel tongs into a small pan of water and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and leave them to simmer on the lowest heat
  6. Place the clean jam jars on the tray  into a cold oven and set at 140º C. They should be completely dry by the time the jam is ready.
  7. Place the strawberries that have been macerating with the sugar and all the juice that has formed, along with the lemon juice into a heavy based stainless steel pan
  8. Stir the mixture well to incorporate and break up any large clumps of the sugar that may still be there

    img_20160920_135724-strawberries-cooking
    Strawberries in the preserving pan cooking.
  9. Cook on a low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved, stirring to make sure that the mixture does not catch. There should be no grains of sugar remaining
  10. When the sugar is completely dissolved turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil
  11. Use heat protective gloves to protect your hands from spatter burns as the liquid is very hot
  12. Carefully clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan with the end dipped into the boiling  jam mixture and cook until it reaches 105º C
  13. When this temperature has been reached boil vigorously for a further 10 minutes
  14. Then test the jam to see if it has reached the setting point by dropping a small amount of the jam onto the chilled saucer for a minute. Push the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles and doesn’t run, it has reached its setting point.
  15. Put the small knob of butter into the jam and mix for a minute to dissolve all the froth from the top of the jam or if you wish just remove it carefully with a spoon
  16. Carefully ladle the jam into the hot, sterilised jars leaving a space between the lid and the jam and then seal. Handle the lids with sterilised tongs and never let your hands touch the inside of the lids. Seal tightly. Set aside to cool. You will hear the lids pop as a vacume forms as the jars cool.
  17. They will keep at room temperature for a year or in the fridge when opened
  18. Enjoy your jam on a slice of toast or a fresh baked scone with a good cup of coffee or a pot of tea
img_20160920_160301-strawberry-jam-on-toast
The finished jam, well set and spread on toast.

 

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