Strawberries. Jam sugar. A lemon. Easy right? We’ll, sorta…
I got a jam and sugar thermometer for Christmas and had planted a load of fruit trees in the garden this year – so I knew I wanted to make jam. I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it at the time. But I’ve done two batches now and think I’ve got the hang of it.
- 500g hulled strawberries
- 500g jam sugar (sugar with added pectin)
- Juice of one lemon
- Put the strawberries and lemon juice in a large heavy-based saucepan/jam pot
- Have it on a low heat
- Attack them with a potato masher until pulped
- Add the sugar ONE TABLESPOON AT A TIME into the middle of the mixture. Stir in the sugar completely after each addition.
- Whack the heat up full
- Boil like crazy until you reach the magic “jam temperature” (known to non-jam Gods as 105degC)
- Once it’s reached that temperature do the “wrinkle test” (Google it. You’ll need a cold plate in the freezer beforehand). If it passes, let it cool for 15mins before putting into your sterilised containers
- Leave to cool out of the fridge
- If you’re British, put it in the fridge – as that’s where we seem to store stuff that doesn’t need refrigerating, like bread, eggs and… jam
Getting it to the magic jam temperature takes longer than you think. And it really does have to reach that temperature, not just get “close enough”. Otherwise, you’ll end up with tasty but non-jam strawberry slop. Slop is delicious on and in things btw, so if you do make slop my accident a) you lied to yourself about the wrinkle test and b) don’t throw it away (freeze it, add to rice pudding, whatever).