After years of experimentation, I can confidently say that this is the only strawberry jam recipe you will ever need. The big secret is simply to minimise the cooking time once the sugar has been added; this maximises the fruit flavour and stops the jam tasting overly sugary. Using citric acid rather than lemon juice helps to this end, but it's not a disaster if you can't get your hands on it.Although most 'luxury' jams include large pieces of fruit, I have come to prefer a smoother texture. If you like the big chunks, simply omit the step of mashing the strawberries once they have been softened.
Servings: 4 jars
- 800 g Strawberries
- 2 tsp Citric acid ((or substitute juice of a lemon))
- 1 kg sugar
- a knob of butter
- Rinse out a preserving pan, or very large saucepan, but do not dry.
- Hull the strawberries and roughly chop, then add to the preserving pan and sprinkle with the citric acid (or lemon juice).
- Cover the preserving pan with foil or heatproof clingfilm, then set on a low heat for 20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
- Wash and dry 4 jam jars, and set onto a baking sheet, jars and lids separated and upright. If available, place a jam funnel and metal ladle on the baking sheet too.
- Transfer the baking sheet into a cold oven, and set the temperature to 140c (285f).
- Place a couple of saucers into the freezer, ready to test for set later.
- After 20 minutes, use a potato masher to turn the cooked strawberries into a chunky puree.
- Add the jam sugar, and turn up the heat to medium/high. Stir the jam mixture periodically as it heats.
- Bring the jam to a rolling boil. If you have a probe thermometer, bring the jam to at least 105c (220f) before you test for set.
- To test for set, remove jam from the heat, and allow the surface to settle. Spoon a dollop of the hot jam onto one of the cold saucers and set a timer for 5 minutes.
- While you are waiting, stir a knob of butter into the hot jam, and then use a metal spoon to skim off the scum.
- After 5 minutes, you can test for set; Push your finger through the blob of jam, and check if the surface wrinkles up over your finger. If it does, your jam will be sufficiently set.
- If not set, or if a firmer set is preferred, return to the boil for another few minutes and test again.
- Leave the jam to cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the baking tray from the oven and equip heatproof gloves.
- Ladle the jam into the hot jars, and use a magnet to lift the lids into place. Screw on tightly and leave to cool completely.
- Stored in a cool dark place, the jam will keep well for over a year.
Serving: 1jar | Calories: 1039kcal | Carbohydrates: 265g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 259g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 117.6mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg