simple and perfect strawberry jam
June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
something sweet on your toast
So, since moving out to California, we have been taking full advantage of the local farmers markets and I’ve been busy devouring organic strawberries at every possible opportunity. I have also been thinking about how, in less than 3 months, our lives are going to get turned upside-down once again and the luxury of spending a day pottering around the kitchen will become a thing of fantasy (for a while at least). So, I decided to set to work squishing some strawberries into delicious jam that I can smother on whatever I feel like, whilst balancing new baby and toddling Avery. Phew.
I haven’t made jam since I was about 12, in a kitchen with my mother and grandmother, and then I was mostly just eating fruit. I certainly can’t remember that recipe so I dug thorough a few on the internet and decided that I would combine a few to come up with my own.
Here is the result:
4lbs of strawberries cut into halves or quarters
1/2lb of small whole strawberries (I just picked out the smallest in my box and set them aside)
4 cups of sugar
Start out by popping a small plate into the freezer. You’ll use this later to test the readiness of your jam.
You might want to enlist some help prepping all your strawberries, but be selective with your helpers, mine mostly wanted to eat my stash!
Place the 4lbs of cut strawberries into a large pan or stockpot over a low to medium heat. Add in about 1/4 cup of the sugar and cook until the sugar has disolved and the strawberries start to get sticky and juicy. Stirring with a wooden spoon.
Turn up the heat to medium high and add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time. Keep stirring between each addition of the sugar, making sure that it is all well disolved before adding the next cup. This should take around 10 minutes total, but make sure to keep up with the stirring, you don’t want anything to stick and burn!
Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Boil for 15 mins. At this point, all the recipes I read tell you to skim off the foam that forms on the surface with a metal spoon. I did this a tiny bit, and then decided I wanted to keep the foam in there (!) so I just went with it.
Add the remaining 1/2 lb of whole smaller strawberries. I like to add these in so you get a few soft but still whole-ish berries in the final jam. This is probably one of my favorite things about strawberry jam, but if it’s not yours then, I guess this part is optional?
Boil for another 15mins.The jam should be thickening up nicely.
Take the plate from the freezer and place a small spoonful of the jam on the plate. Pop it back in the freezer until the jam has cooled. The jam is ready when the cooled sample wrinkles slightly when pushed with your finger.
When the jam is done, remove from the heat and place in prepared jars. Seal, label and you’re all done!
This made 6 nice full jars, of which, a week later, we have already eaten one. Avery loves it on his toast in the mornings…and then he licks it all off, and spits the wholewheat toast out….my baby.