strawberry jam tutorial
One of the best things about the British summer is the strawberries. I love them. There seems to be a glut at the moment and all the shops are slashing their prices. With the season for my favourite variety Elsanta almost over, I went out and bought up a few punnets. The resulting jam was rather tasty and I thought it would be good to show you how I made it so that you can too.
The recipe is an old family one which is tried and tested by four generations. Although it was originally written in imperial measurements, I’ve converted it to metric as that’s what we’re using in the UK these days and it makes it easier for buying your supplies here.
Hull and quarter the strawberries and put them into the preserving pan. At this point also place a saucer in your fridge to cool and turn your oven to approx 150 degrees celsuis.
Weigh out the sugar and add it to the pan, along with the lemon juice, water and pectin.
Mix the ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring occassionally to make sure all of the sugar is dissolved and to prevent the jam sticking to the bottom of the pan.
While the jam is coming to the boil, wash your jars in hot water, dry and place in a hot oven to sterilise. You can use any jars, so don’t throw away any from your shop-bought goods.
Let the jam boil steadily for about 15 minutes before testing it to see if it has reached setting point. Spoon a little of the boiling jam onto the chilled saucer and leave to cool for 10 seconds or so.
If the surface of the jam wrinkles when you push it with your finger, the setting point has been achieved. If not, boil the jam for a little longer and test it again. It should not need to be boiled for longer than 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in a little butter or margarine to help remove any film. Some may need to be removed with a slotted spoon. Leave to stand and cool for about 30 minutes. This prevents the fruit sinking to the bottom of the jars when decanted.
Ladle the jam into the sterilised jars using the jam funnel before sealing with jam pot covers or lids. In Britain you can buy packs of jam pot covers comprising wax disks, cellophane covers, elastic bands and sticky labels. I use these, but you can also buy jars with lids. I believe there is a different canning system in America which uses special jars and lids, so use whichever way you are happy with.
Personally, I don’t like the look of the cellophane lid, so I like to cover it with some fabric too. I used some scraps from IKEA today.
Be sure to also mark your jam with the date it was made and show off that you made it too.
Lastly go and find some crusty bread and enjoy it!
The finished article: IngridNation’s Time Travelling Strawberry Jam
If you were wondering, the name comes from a Twitter conversation with @alliekbean that I had while making it. It started like this…
@InnyM: There’s a particular point when making this that the smell changes to intense strawberry jamminess and sends me hurtling back in time…
..and continued in a sea of Dr Who references. That there are Torchwood specials on BBC1 all this week too adds further to my justification in naming it. I only wish I had some TARDIS-blue cloth for the tops.
Please do use the recipe and tutorial to make jam for your own consumption/charity fundraising, but please do not use it for commercial purposes or reproduce the tutorial without first seeking permission and linking to this blog.
Copyright © Ingrid Murnane 2009. All rights reserved.