There are fewer things that bring joy and warmth and happiness to people better than home made jam. I love to cook, to bake and to make things for people to eat. Purely because it makes me happy. It makes other people happy, but I enjoy that too, so it’s purely a selfish endeavour. Nothing, but nothing, seems to have brought more childish glee forth from people than home made strawberry Jam. If you, like me, selfishly enjoy bringing happiness to others, I urge you jam-wards at your earliest opportunity! Strawberries are abundant and cheap at the moment, and are at the height of their beauty in Queensland. They are ripe, juicy and sweet, and as Nigella once said, they conjure to mind images of “lyrical, wide-skied summer”. I picked up a kilo of berries that were less than perfect – the “seconds” of the strawberry season – for $4 dollars at the Kelvin Grove markets recently, just because the deal was too good to resist! I used some of them for these chocolate chip pancakes. But the rest cried out to be made into jam. I am keeping this post short and sweet today. I will be back soon with a recipe for the gorgeous crumpets that you see above! But if you, like me, feel that you sometimes need some reassurance of hearth and home, Strawberry Jam is here. It can help. Go to it.
Juice of 1 Lemon Place a small plate or saucer in the freezer. Wash, hull and slice the strawberries and place them in a stainless steel saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. Make sure they do not take up more than half of the volume of the pan, as the mixture does boil up. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil before lowering the heat to medium and keeping at a slow simmer/boil for about 10 minutes. At ten minutes start taking small drops of jam and placing them on the cold saucer. Leave the drops for about 30 seconds before prodding them with your finger. If the mix wrinkles up as though it has formed a skin, the jam is set and ready to be poured into a sterilized jar.
This amount makes about the same as the Bonne Maman jars, so one of those well washed, and then placedin a basin and poured over with boiling water does the job, as long as you remove it from the water after about 30 seconds, and do not touch the inside of the jar or the lid. Pour in the jam, and then screw on the lid, and turn upside down. Let the jam cool for several hours, and then refrigerate. It should last for at least 10 days or several weeks, if the jar is sterlized properly.