Serves: Makes about 2.5kg
Unlike marmalade, when I dedicate a whole week to filling up the larder with umpteen jars of bitter orange deliciousness, I don’t make a lot of jam. I don’t eat much of it so worry that it’ll go mouldy before I get round to finishing a batch’s worth. However, when you’ve tasted a spoonful of fresh jam you realize that commercial preserves can’t hold a candle to the homemade stuff. I use some jam sugar and lemon juice to ensure a set but you’ll still find it slightly runnier than commercial varieties. Start 24 hours in advance as you need to soak the fruit and sugar overnight.
- 1.5kg hulled strawberries, halved if large and wiped clean
- 1 kg jam sugar
- 500g caster sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Put the strawberries, sugars and lemon juice in a very large bowl and mix together. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
- The next day, put a small plate in the fridge (this is to test for a set). Tip the contents of the mixing bowl into a large preserving pan (don’t try and make the jam in anything smaller) and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up and boil for about 8-10 minutes until a sugar thermometer reads 105˚c. Skim off any foamy scum.Turn off the heat and test for a set. Put a spoonful of the jam onto the cold plate and leave for 3 minutes. If the jam wrinkles when pushed with your finger it is set. If it is still liquid bring the jam back to the boil and boil for 2 minutes. Test for a set again.
- Leave the jam to settle for 15 minutes then stir to distribute the fruit. Spoon into sterilised jars, cover with a disc of wax paper and seal.