I’ve been wanting to make my own batch of jam for a long time and with strawberries being so cheap and plentiful at the moment I thought – Let’s have a Strawberry Jam making day!
I invited a friend around to help me out, we chatted, prepped the fruit, had a cuppa, stirred the jam, chatted some more and it was all done. It was a lovely way to catch up and in the end we had delicious jam to enjoy.
This Strawberry Jam recipe is from a trusty old copy of a family circle cookbook, I received it as a gift when I moved out of home and every recipe is rock solid.
Before you start you will need to place a couple of saucers in the freezer and wash out 6 250ml jars with warm soapy water. Whilst the jam is cooking you can sterilise the jars and lids in the oven.
How to sterilize jam jars
- Wash jars and lids in warm soapy water and rinse well.
- Place on tray (it’s ok if they are still wet) and into a cold oven.
- Heat oven to 120C for at least 30min
- Fill and seal whist jars are still hot.
- 5 cups (1.25kg) Sugar
- 1.5 kg (3lb) Strawberries
- ½ cup (125ml/4 fl oz) Lemon Juice
- Place 2 saucers in the freezer
- Prepare jars for sterilization by washing in warm soapy water and rinsing well.
- Wash, hull and halve the strawberries.
- In a large non-reactive pan add all ingredients.
- Warm gently without boiling and stir carefully with a wooden spoon to combine - Avoid breaking up fruit.
- Increase the heat and without boiling, continue to stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Boil without stirring for 20 minutes.
- Sterilize jars in oven (120C for 30 minutes)
- Start to test for setting point - take mixture off heat and spoon a small amount of mixture onto chilled saucer, return to freezer for 30 seconds then draw your finger through the mixture. When the mixture has reached setting point it should leave a trail clean trail on the plate and not flood back over.
- If setting point not reached cook for another 5 min and repeat. It could take up to 40 minutes to reach setting point.
- When you are happy setting point has been reached, remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes.
- Remove any scum or froth that forms on the surface.
- Pour in to hot sterilized jars, seal and label.
Testing for setting point is always tricky and I still find it a bit hit and miss. We used the traditional chilled saucer method but did not push for a hard set as I like my jam more of a ‘conserve’ style than super firm. Ours took about 50 minutes all up but it will depend on the pectin content of the fruit that you have. I forgot to photograph this stage of the process because it was ‘all hands on deck’, but this video explains it very well.
How to test for jam setting point
- Take mixture off heat and spoon a small amount of mixture onto chilled saucer.
- Return to freezer for 30 seconds then draw your finger through the mixture.
- When the mixture has reached setting point it should leave a trail clean trail on the plate and not flood back over.
- If setting point not reached cook for another 5 min and repeat.
I always keep my Bonne Maman jars because they are perfect to reuse for jam making, they are super pretty and the labels always come off easily, which is an added bonus. As the jam cools the little button on the lids will pop in, indicating a good seal. If you’ve sterilised everything properly the jam should be fine for around 6 months, once opened refrigerate and consume within a month. I’ve popped all mine in the fridge just in case.
Look how deliciously chunky the fruit is. Yummo!
I’ve given a few jars to friends and they tell me it’s the best Strawberry Jam they’ve tasted. Not bad for a first try. I think the secret is getting the fruit when it’s at it’s peak, and not mushing it up whilst cooking.
Get your friends together and make some jam.