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Strawberry Jam

Introduction & method

Jams and preserves have been made for centuries as a way of preserving excess soft fruit. Frequently, shop-bought jam contains much more sugar than fruit, but if you make your own, you know exactly what's in it. Homemade jam is quite easy and quick - you can easily make a small batch in about half an hour.

Strawberry Jam Recipe

Prep the Strawbs

If you don't have a thermometer, place a couple of small plates or saucers in the freezer. Wash the strawberries and  'hull' them - this means pull off the leafy bit at the top. If the flesh under it is whiteish, cut that off. Quarter the strawberries.

Cook the Jam

Pop the strawberries into a pot, add the sugar and lemon juice. Turn onto medium-low heat and stir constantly until the sugar is melted and the strawbs are releasing their moisture and turning pulpy. Skim off any froth. Continue cooking until the temperature hits 105 ° (221°F). This is the setting temperature of jam.

If you still haven't bought a thermometer, take one of your plates out of the freezer and put a spoonful of jam on it. Leave for a minute, then gently push the edge with the tip of a finger - if the jam is ready, it will have a crinkly skin. If not, keep cooking and testing every 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the jam cool for about 10 minutes. Then spoon the jam into 2 sterilised jars - you can sterilise them by boiling jars and non-plastic lids for 10 minutes. Place in the fridge to cool completely. Serve with scones and clotted cream.

About Pectin

Pectin is the magical chemical that makes jam set - soft fruits and berries don't contain much of it, but citrus fruits and apples are packed with the stuff. The juice of 1 lemon should be enough to set this amount of fruit, but I have previously also cut the pith off half a lemon, put that in a tea-ball and added it to the jam while it's cooking. Alternatively, you can buy jam sugar which has pectin added, or pure liquid pectin.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Strawberry Jam on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 500 grams strawberries
 500 grams granulated sugar
 juice of 1 lemon

US Customary/Imperial

Makes about 500 grams - 2 Medium jars
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Setting time: 1 hour.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes.