Strawberry Jam, Traditional Recipe
This is one of my favourite jams. When my daughters were young, we used to go strawberry picking. Some of these freshly picked strawberries were made into jam. Now a days, I just buy a punnet /box or two from supermarket and make a small amount of jam at a time. Make 2 jam jars approximately.
500 gm. strawberries. Make sure they are firm, not overripe.
500 gm. jam sugar or granulated sugar (jam sugar has some pectin)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A small knob of butter
2-3 jam jars
A heavy bottomed pan; the pan should be large enough to allow them to boil briskly, when they will rise quite a bit.
Place 2-3 plates in freezer, to test the setting point later on.
Hull the strawberries. Discard any that are bruised or overripe.
Wash the jars. Place on a tray in an oven set to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4. Leave for 30-40 minutes, while you are making the jam.
Place the strawberries in a heavy bottomed pan, crush them slightly.
Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of sugar on top and heat gently.
Add the remaining sugar and the lemon juice.
Turn heat on to medium hot, stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
Now bring the strawberries to a brisk boil and boil until the jam reaches setting point. When testing, remove pan from heat. Setting point: 1) Check temperature with a jam/candy thermometer. Setting point is 108ºC/221ºF. 2) Place a few drops on a chilled plate, push it with your finger tip. If it crinkles, it is ready to set. 3) Dip a wooden spoon into the jam. Wait 5-6 seconds, lift and tilt the spoon sideways. As the jam drips, it forms heavy sheets or triangles.
If not setting point is not reached yet, turn heat on again and check the setting point every 5-6 minutes. It may take up to half an hour to reach it, depending upon the pectin content of the strawberries.
When setting point has been reached, add butter and turn the heat off.
Stir in the butter and skim off any scum from the surface of the jam.
Allow the jam cool to and thicken for ten minutes. Otherwise strawberries sink to the bottom when filled in jam jars and fruit will not be evenly distributed throughout the jar.
Lift out the hot, sterilized jars from the oven with gloves and place on a wooden surface (chopping board).
Stir the jam gently. Place a spoon in the jar (this stops them from cracking) and spoon jam into the sterilized jars using a jam funnel. I do this with the help of a metal jam funnel.
Cover with waxed discs straight away, close lids and stand the jars upside down. This helps to create a vacuum and keep the jam sterile.
When cold, wipe the jars, label and store in a cool cupboard.