It is a fact of life that some things (ok, most) are better when you make them yourself… or when a sufficiently adept cook / seamstress / jewellerymaker / carpenter of your acquaintance does. This fact is especially true of jam, and if ever you come across some excess strawberries, this jam is a lovely way to make use of them rather than gorging yourself until you never want to see a strawberry ever again.
I halved a recipe on the back of a packet of Tate & Lyle pectin, and this made 2 and a half jars full. To make it a bit more interesting, at step 4 I also added some raspberries and the scrapings of a jar of summer fruits jam as it needed using up. Halved, the recipe is as follows:
500g strawberries, washed, drained, and hulled
599g granulated sugar
1/2 a sachet of pectin
1 tbsp lemon juice
- Place 2 or 3 saucers in the freezer
- Cook the strawberries very gently over a low heat in a large saucepan for 50 minutes, until they are very soft and the juices run.
- Add the sugar and pectin and stir over a low heat until dissolved.
- Add the lemon juice and bring to the boil – keep stirring occasionally, and you may want to mash the strawberries at this point so the jam isn’t too lumpy.
- Boil rapidly until the “setting point” is reached (about 15-20 minutes) – to test, remove one of the saucers from the freezer, take the jam off the heat, spoon a little jam onto the plate and leave to cool. Push the jam with your finger and the surface should crinkle (see picture below). If it’s still too runny, boil for a further 5 minutes and then test again.
- When the jam has reached the setting point, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum from the surface. Leave to cool for 30 minutes, stir gently then spoon into clean warm jam jars. Cover and seal whilst hot, then you can label them when cold.