With plenty of good, flavoursome strawberries available at this time of year, whipping up a batch of strawberry jam is fun thing to do. Not only for personal consumption (ahem) but a jar of hand-made jam is a lovely present in the festive season.
I make a number of different versions of strawberry jam, including a sublime strawberry and banana(!) version, but here’s a good, straightforward recipe from Edwardian times, with modern measurements and a few interpolated notes from me.
1 kg strawberries, washed and hulled
1 kg sugar
1/2 cup of lemon juice
Place sugar in a large stock pot/boiler.
Over a low heat, add enough water to just dissolve the sugar.
Add lemon juice.
Bring to a rapid boil.
Boil rapidly until setting point is reached (104 degrees C). If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, spoon a little jam onto a cold saucer and push to one side. If a wrinkled skin forms, the jam is ready.
Bottle in jars that have been well-washed and then heating in the oven while the jam is being made.
Serve with scones and cream.
The advice from the past is that strawberry jam should never be over-boiled, as it ruins the flavour. Under-cooking is preferable, so that it’s only slightly set.
Note: strawberry jam can be tricky to set, so it’s worth having some pectin (‘JamSetta’) on hand, just in case. It’s available from most supermarkets; just follow the directions on the pack if your jam is temperamental regarding setting.