When in season, make jam!
I love strawberry's.
There. I said it.
I love them in all glorious forms. Be it as an iced-cream or beaten into a smoothie, they never fail to delight me! So it's only natural that I would want to turn them into jam.
(Try to get the freshest you can find and avoid greening around the tip and stalk)
800g of caster sugar or jam sugar
The juice of one lemon
(I always like to use fresh lemon juice but bottled will work too!)
The day before you make your jam, hull and halve the strawberries, checking for green or soft spots as you go. Get rid of any that are overripe or bruised.
Layer the strawberries in a large bowl or casserole dish and pour the sugar over, making sure all the berries are coated. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, place a small saucer in the fridge - this will help test the setting point of the jam later.
Pour all the strawberries and their juices into a large, heavy based pan, ensuring that the strawberries do not fill more than a quarter of the pan as once it starts to boil, it will rise rapidly. (I found this out the hard way!)
Add the lemon juice and stir gently over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the pan to a rolling boil for 10 minutes and wait until the jam reaches setting point. It's worth mentioning that this can take some time, so don't worry if after 15 minutes it still isn't there! Just enjoy the smell!
The best way to check for the setting point is to take a small teaspoon of the jam and drop it onto your chilled saucer. Leave it for a few minutes, then try to push it with your finger. If it wrinkles then it has reached setting point and is ready to take off the heat. If not, put it back on to boil and give it a bit longer!
Once the jam is ready, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum on the surface by skimming with a large spoon. Leave the jam to cool and slightly set in the pan before stirring ladling it into jars.
Always make sure your jars have been sterilized before using them! This will stop bacteria growing and your jam will last a lot longer! The easiest way to do this is to wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse and allow them to drip dry. Put your oven to 140oC/gas mark 1 and place the jars inside for half an hour while you make your jam :)
Best enjoyed in or on... anything :)!