1 cup strawberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 tablespoon lemon juice
- When you’re making strawberry jam it’s good to have most of the strawberries fully ripe, for a deep, full flavor, and a small number that aren’t so ripe, because they contain more natural pectin to thicken the jam.
- When making a small amount of jam, say one or two jars, you won’t need to process it in a waterbath, as long as you store the jam in the fridge and it’s eaten in a few weeks. In that instance, you’d simply sterilize the jars and lids, in boiling water or the oven, before adding the jam.
To Sterilize Jars In The Oven:
- Wash the jars in hot soapy water
- Rinse in clean water
- Set them, and their washed lids, upside down, on a rack in the oven set on low (about 140C/ 275F)
- Leave them there for at least half an hour while you make the jam
- Wash the fruit and cut off the green top. Don’t used any soft, rotting or damaged bits, cut that part out.
- Cut the fruit to an equal size. You can leave the small strawberries whole and cut the larger ones in two or, sometimes, four.
- The sugar is usually a 1:1 ratio but you can experiment with using a little less sugar. The sugar helps preserve the jam as well as adding sweetness.
- Place the cut berries in a heavy saucepan and pour the sugar over the fruit. Stir it through, then leave it for an hour or so. This will start to release the juice from the strawberries and start to soften them.
- When you’re ready, add the lemon juice – this will cut through the sugar sweetness as well as help set the jam.
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat.
- Stir the jam to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick on the bottom of the saucepan.
- As the frothy scum starts to form on the top, remove it with your spoon.
- Bring it to a rolling boil.
- After it comes to a rolling boil, lower the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- When it is the consistency you like and it’s reached setting point (see below), it’s ready.
Checking The Setting Point:
- Put a small china saucer or plate in the freezer.
- When the plate is very cold, pour some of your jam on the plate and wait to see if it sets. The coldness of the plate will speed up the setting process.
- If your jam is still runny and hasn’t set, keep boiling it for another ten minutes.
- When you’re happy with the look of the jam and you know it’s set, while the jam is still hot, add it to your hot jars. Be careful and use a canning funnel and tongs.