Friday, 5 November 2010
Strawberry jam isn't perhaps the most autumnal subject really, but I was really surprised to notice in my local the other day that they are still selling British strawberries! Amazing. And, right now, they were on a buy one get one free offer, so I thought, why not? I bought a couple of kilograms, thinking I could eat some and make jam from the rest. Strawberry jam is super easy - you need one kilogram of fruit, to one kilogram of sugar. A bit of fresh lemon juice helps to freshen everything else and I believe helps it to set. That's it! I must admit that, for the first time ever when I make jam, I used a specific jam sugar this time. Jam sugar has added pectin, the agent that exists naturally in fruit and which makes jam set. So, it shouldn't be possible to create jam that doesn't set when using this type of sugar.
So, to make jam. First weigh out 1 kilogram of strawberries.
When the jam is ready, simply pour it very carefully into the jar, more or less up to the top and seal immediately. As the jam cools, this will cause a vacuum to form around the top, which will help to preserve the jam. It is better to use proper jam jars with rubber seals for this purpose. Allow the jam to cool in the jars and then that's it.
As an aside, you should now have a bowl of foam that you scrapped off the top of the jam as it was simmering, which should have set by now. If you take off the thick, foam layer from the top, underneath should be a nice, clear, red liquid. This is really just strawberry syrup and it's lovely with some natural yogurt, or even rice pudding. I prefer not to waste anything if I can!