Last week we visited a pick-your-own fruit farm. When we were there last year there were both strawberries and raspberries available but due to the unusually wet summer we have had so far (even for Scotland!) the raspberries weren’t ripe yet. Instead we ended up picking lots and lots of strawberries, and some blackcurrants. The blackcurrants were a bit of an afterthought, it would have been nice to have picked enough to make homemade Ribena or blackcurrant jelly but didn’t get enough berries for that this time around.
There were plenty of strawberries to go around on the other hand, so I decided to make jam to preserve some of them. My mum used to make strawberry jam when we were little, but hers always ended up a bit darker and looser than the batch I made. I must say I’m pretty chuffed with how mine turned out, particularly as it was the first time I ever made jam! It turned out nice and thick and a gloriously vibrant red – yum!!
I’m already planning my next trip to the pick-your-own farm to stock up for raspberry jam, and “Queen jam” – as blueberry and raspberry jam is called in Sweden.
1kg jam sugar
knob of butter
1) Put 3 saucers in the freezer (preferably several hours before making the jam)
2) Wash the jam jars in hot soapy water, rinse with hot water then place in a low oven (about 100C) to dry and sterilise.
3) Crush the strawberries with a potato masher and place them in a sauce pan
4) Add the sugar and heat gently over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved
5) Add a knob of butter, stir until melted and disolved
6) Increase the heat and bring the jam to a rolling boil that bubbles vigorously, rises in the pan and can not be stirred down
7) Start timing and boil for 4 minutes or until temperature reaches 104C
8) Remove from heat. Take one of the saucers out of the freezer, pour some jam onto it and put back into the freezer for 1 minute
9) Take the saucer back out of the freezer and gently run your finger through the jam – if the surface wrinkles it is ready. If not, return to the boil for 2 minutes, then re-test.
10) Once the jam is ready, take a jam jar out of the oven at the time and pour the jam into the jar using a ladle and jam funnel, or using a jug (if you like me don’t have a jam funnel)
11) Place wax discs on top of the jam, making sure they cover the whole surface.
12) Cover the jar with the jar lid or with Cellophane (which usually comes with the wax discs)