Serves: Makes ~4-5 large pots
Preparation time: ~30 minutes + 12 hours
Calories: ~20 per teaspoon
So, here is what I had to prepare after returning from my picnic in my last post. Strawberries. Big, plump, red, delicious strawberries. I don’t often do much with berries. There’s something so beautiful about them that it seems almost a shame to cook them all up until they’re virtually unrecognisable – as delicious as the final product may be. Blueberries and raspberries are expensive and so I’m always eager to try and enjoy them as much as I can in their “raw”, basic form. Strawberries are still quite pricey, not quite as much though, so I figured that here was as good a place as any to leap into my berry adventures.
The jam turned out a rich, deep claret colour. Almost black when viewed in the pan, and when you lifted up a spoon you could see how deliciously deep red it was. I decided to mash the berries a little at the end – I greatly enjoy spooning out whole strawberries from jars of jam sometimes, but not for every single berry, so mashing them before you jar it will provide a bit more body to the jam.
Of course – the flavour? Well… if you’ve had good strawberry jam before then you’ll know what I’m talking about. That divine flavour of “summer in a jar” – sweet and sticky and delicious. While placing the jars into my cupboard I took stock of what I had. Quince jelly, a gift from an acquaintance, Apple, Nectarine and Courgette Chutney, Piccalilli, and Lemon Marmalade. Aah, how I love conserving things. The chutney especially is now a year old – I shall likely open it in a few months and I’m positively salivating at the thought of just how rich the flavour is going to be.
I’ll be off to IKEA (again!) tomorrow most probably. My wife’s birthday is coming up soon. It falls in August which happens to be when the historical “kräftpremiär” date falls – a date when crayfish harvesting was legally allowed to begin in Sweden, many years ago. Summer sees many crayfish parties in Sweden – many people still stick to the traditional time of August, hence the reason this month is often known as the “crayfish month”, even though crayfish can now be purchased all summer long, and as a result it makes a rather timely and delicious meal for my wife’s birthday. I’ll be sure to post some photos later of our dinner and the cake!
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the jam – have a great week and I’ll be back soon!
Easy Strawberry Jam
- 1kg of fresh Strawberries
- 900g of Sugar (preferably jam-making sugar with added pectin)
- Juice from 2 Lemons
You’ll also need
- ~4-6 Preserving Jars
- The night before you make the jam, wash the strawberries well and then hull them. Sort through them, cutting away any very soft parts, and removing any bad ones. Place into a large bowl and add in half of the sugar. Stir well to mix and then cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, start off by placing a small saucer into the freezer to check the setting point of the jam later. You will see that the strawberries have released a good quantity of juice during the night. Pour the contents of the bowl into a large, high-sided jam-making pan, being sure to get any remaining syrup or sugar from the bowl. Pour in the rest of the sugar and add the lemon juice as well. Wash your preserving jars thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius.
- Place your preserving jars into the preheated oven to sterilise. Leave in the oven for about 20 minutes while you make the jam. Heat the pan on a medium setting, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved and can no longer be felt when pressing against the bottom of the pan with the spoon. Once this is done, bring the jam to the boil and once boiling, leave it cooking in this manner for a good 15 minutes. Remove the small dish from the freezer and spoon a small amount of the jam onto the dish. Leave for a couple of minutes and then press the sample gently with your finger. If the surface wrinkles then it’s ready to jar. If not then continue boiling, testing every 10 minutes or so to see if setting point has been reached.
- Once ready, remove the pan from the heat and skim off and discard any pink scum from the service of the jam. If the strawberries were large then you may want to mash some of them. Bash the mixture a little with a potato masher to break them up a little, although before sure to leave some whole.
- Transfer the jam into the still hot preserving jars. Fit the washed seals, if you’re using the type of jars I have, and seal immediately. Allow to cool and store in a cool, dark place. The jam should keep for around a year or more ideally. If you have the kind of jar that is pictured below, you can check for an airtight seal by gently unclipping the lid. The lid should stay “sucked down” to the jar. If this is the case then the jam should keep well. If not, then you’ll need to keep it refrigerated and consume it rather more quickly. Enjoy!