STRAWBERRY JAM

I don’t really remember either of my Grandmas making jam when I was young, but my idea of homemade jam is a sweet old lady stirring a huge pot of overripe strawberries on the stovetop for hours, perfecting the pectin in the fruit so the jam sets just so.

When the strawberry jam in our fridge was about to run out, and before adding it to the shopping list, I decided to look for an easy jam recipe, expecting to then dedicate the rest of my Sunday afternoon to making jam.

I stumbled upon this article on The Guardian website, How to Make the Perfect Strawberry Jam. It’s a cute story comparing different jam recipes and techniques; from a quick, super sweet jam to a dark, sophisticated jam which takes 3 days to make!

With it being winter, I used frozen strawberries and as I’d never made jam before I opted to make a small batch. How did it turn out? Beautifully red in colour, the most divine consistency with a few bursting chunks of strawberries and most importantly, absolutely delicious!

07_Jul_Jam

STRAWBERRY JAM

yeild: approx. 2 x 200ml jars

Ingredients:

•  600g small ripe strawberries
•  510g jam sugar
•  Juice of a lemon

1. Hull the strawberries and discard any rotten ones. Set aside about 10 of the smallest berries, and then mash the rest up into a rough pulp. Put into a wide, thick-bottomed pan, add the sugar and the lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Add the remaining strawberries to the pan, and put a saucer in the freezer.

2. Boil the jam for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly checking the setting point every minute or so during the last 5 minutes. To do this, take the cold saucer out of the freezer, put a little jam on it, and put it back in to cool for a minute. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, then it’s done. Strawberry jam is unlikely to set very solid though, so don’t expect the same results as you would with a marmalade.

3. Take off the heat and skim off the pink scum. Pour into sterilised jars and cover with a disc

* A handy trick; once jam is filled to the top of the jar, put the lid on and flip upside down, cover with a tea towel and leave to cool completely. This creates a vacuum and sucks the lid on.of waxed paper, seal and store.

I was really surprised by how quick and easy it was to make, and definitely recommend trying it. And because the strawberry jam was such a success, I of course had to make some homemade scones to accompany it. Yum! I can’t wait to make some more jam in summer, from a big bag of market fresh strawberries, or perhaps some other fruit varieties. What is your favourite jam to make?

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SMOOTHIES

I’ll be honest, I’ve never owned a blender. Come to think of it, I don’t think my mum ever owned one either. I’m not sure why. I used to love drinking banana smoothies as a kid, but we would have to mash up the banana with a fork before putting it into the milkshake maker and whiz it up with milk.

I attended a conference a month or so ago and heard Kemi speak about “adding more raw” food into your diet. (I might do a separate post on Kemi later.) I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, but I thought I’d start making green smoothies.

I have a hand held stick blender which I used but I decided to get a proper blender. I bought a Vitamix because a) they are amazing, b) it will last forever, and c) it came with a free knife, chopping board and a cool cooler bag with wheels.
Vitamix

I’ve been making green smoothies, but this morning I made this delicious one…

BERRY SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

•  banana
•  kiwi fruit
•  berries
•  a small stick of celery
•  almond milk
•  biodynamic yoghurt
•  agave
•  sunflower kernels
•  walnuts
•  chia

Throw everything into the Vitamix and whizzzzzzz!

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