Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Monday, June 30, 2014

Strawberry Jam

 It has to be done!  This time of year the strawberries are right in season, fresh, ripe and reasonably inexpensive.  Not the easiest of jam to make because they are very low in pectin and acid - the two crucial ingredients for a good set.
 I used Jam Sugar.  Equal quantities of strawberries and jam sugar.  This sugar already has apple pectin and citric acid added.  I also added the juice of a couple of lemons just to be sure.  Leave the strawberries in the sugar for 24 hours with nothing else added.
 Next day, the sugar will have drawn out lots of juice from he strawberries and released what little pectin there was in the strawberries.  No water has been added at all, this juice is just from the strawberries.   I then mashed about a third of the strawberries with a potato masher - just to give the jam a bit more consistency.
 The jam must reach 102 degrees C to achieve a set.  I usually ignore any written cooking times because different fruit, levels of pectin and acid vary so much it is impossible to say 10 minutes or 2 hours. 
 I always do it this way.  Put a clean plate in the freezer for 5 minutes to get cold.  Drop a teaspoon of jam on the plate and put back in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool.  The above photo is not set yet.
 You will keep having to repeat this process every few minutes or so until the jam begins to set. You can see here it wrinkles when I draw my finger through. Don't forget the jam will continue to cook just a few minutes longer when you turn off the heat and cool it for 10 minutes.
I sterilized these jars in the oven, and made sure they were still warm when I poured the warm jam into the jars.  I sealed the lids immediately so that as the hot air cools inside the top of the jar, a vacuum is formed.  Bon apetite!


At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Sarah Whittle said...

Now all we need are some scones.... Beautiful
Sarah x

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Dewberry said...

This year I've made strawberry and rhubarb and rhubarb and ginger. The second one is new for me :)

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Hazel said...

Matron, this is THE most helpful post on jam making I have ever read - thankyou!

Because I can't make jam which sets nicely, I have an arrangement with my big sis - she makes jam, and I make wine, and then we swap. But I'm tempted to have a go (again!) at jam this year. :-)

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Julee Gray said...

I've never tried just strawberry jam as I have never been able to grow that many and I'm too tight to buy them lol x

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

great recipe,thanks for sharing as strawberry is usually hit and miss!


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