The only jam to eat with scones and clotted cream – no store cupboard is complete without it. I prefer the odd whole strawberry to persist in the final jam, but if you want a smoother texture, simply mash all the fruit. Strawberries are low in pectin, and produce a looser jam than other fruits, though it is still perfectly spreadable. For a firmer set, simply substitute jam sugar for granulated.
Makes about 1.1kg
1kg hulled strawberries
850g granulated sugar
1½ lemons, juiced
Halve or quarter any larger strawberries. Then put all the fruit in a large ceramic or glass bowl and stir in the sugar. Cover and leave at room temperature for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Put the fruit and sugar into a large pan and mash roughly – leaving some or no berries whole as preferred – then stir in the lemon juice.
Bring to a gentle simmer over a low-medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then simmer for 5-10 minutes until the fruit is soft.
Turn up the heat and boil rapidly until the setting point is reached.
Scoop out any scum, then leave to stand for 15 minutes. This prevents any large pieces of fruit floating to the top of the jar.
Stir, then pot into warm, sterilised jars.
Store in a cool, dry, dark place
Keeps for a year or more
Something a little different
Thyme (Thymus) gives a lovely floral edge to strawberries.
Stir through 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves when adding the lemon juice.
One of my favourite ways to eat fresh strawberries is with a drizzle of balsamic reduction, so it made sense to add the flavour to the jam as well.
Add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or more to taste) when stirring in the lemon juice. The extra acidity makes for a slightly firmer set.
Extracted from The Jam Maker’s Garden by Holly Farrell (Frances Lincoln, approx €21). Photography by Jason Ingram.