The smell of delightfully sweet strawberry jam cooking on the stovetop and wafting through the house is reason enough to make this. As I have been posting recipes that calls for this jam, I figured it should have its own post so that it would be easy for you to retrieve the recipe. I first featured it as a secondary recipe in my post, Victoria Sponge Cake With Homemade Strawberry Jam. Once you taste your homemade jam, chances are you won’t want to go back to store bought jam.
Strawberry Jam Simplified
|Can recipe be doubled?||Yes|
|Make ahead?||Keeps up to 3 weeks refrigerated.|
1.1 lbs (500g) strawberries
1. As a reference, the strawberries should take just 20 to 25 minutes to cook.
2. Hull the strawberries. No need to slice them though.
3. Place a wide bottom pot on the burner. A nonstick pan would reduce sticking.
4. Add the strawberries and then the sugar.
5. Turn heat on to medium-high. Stir once or twice to prevent sticking.
6. The sugar will melt very fast. This is it after 2 minutes.
7. After 5 minutes, a considerable amount of syrup will have developed and there will be foam on the surface. Don’t bother skimming it. You can stir it back in when the jam is cooked and you won’t see it.
8. Within the next 5 minutes, it will be bubbling away furiously, the strawberries will look swollen and the mixture will look a lovely ruby red.
9. Take out your potato masher or use the back of a spoon to break up the strawberries. Leave some chunks. The strawberries should be soft enough at this stage for it to be easily mashed up.
10. Let it bubble away for the last 5 to 10 minutes. I want a solitaire ruby ring in that colour!
11. The jam will soon start to thicken very quickly. Stir to prevent burning. The jam’s consistency will look very much like thick honey. I like jam with a looser consistency so when it has reached this stage (refer to photograph below), I turn off the burner and take it off the heat. Should I decide to stick my thermometer into the jam, it will never measure more than 185 F (85 C). This is the way I like the jam.
12. Cool completely and store in sterilised glass jars.
13. It keeps at least 3 weeks but only manages to last 2 weeks and only a day when I serve it with my Sweet Milk Scones.
I use it in my Victoria Sponge Cake,
On my Chocolate Pavlova,
The jam will soon also be featured in my next post, Pavlova.
(1) These make welcome gifts. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to make more.
(2) Do use the jam to drizzle over vanilla ice cream. It is like making your own strawberry swirl ice cream.
(3) For an adult version, also drizzle some Crème de Fraise, a strawberry flavoured creme liqueur.
(4) This strawberry jam goes especially well with crepes (thin pancakes). You could add whip cream too but I think it doesn’t need anything else besides the jam.
Jam makers will tell you that for jam to reach the ‘set’ stage (stage at which you can take the jam off the heat), the thermometer needs to register 220F (105C). There are other ‘set tests’ you can carry out. Google it. Lots of detailed explanations which I will not get into. With the very little sugar to fruit ratio that I use, it might not reach the recommended temperatures. You can take out your thermometers and use it if you like but I know how I like my jam. How much do I like my homemade strawberry jam? I have almost given up on strawberry filled jelly doughnuts because there is never enough jelly in it for me. Now, I buy plain doughnuts and scoop a quarter cup of my strawberry jam next to a doughnut. So good.
WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?
Pavlovas have a reputation for being difficult to make. It is actually the meringue that is challenging to bake correctly. The reality is, this plain, white meringue is one of those recipes where you cannot be guaranteed of success. This is even more true if you are baking them in an area with high humidity. It got on my nerves that I could not get a meringue to not collapse, weep sugary syrup from the bottom and not taste like soap sponge. You would not believe the number of meringues I had to bake to come up with a recipe that bake the lovely looking meringue below. Recipe with you in my next post.