sharing recipes from one generation to the next
Miss E is planning her 9th birthday party. She’d like to serve blackberry and apple juice in champagne glasses, the rim of the glass frosted with pink sugar crystals. Sigh! How the expectations of nine year olds have changed.
I vividly remember my ninth birthday treat. Fifty years ago, while on summer holidays, my parents took me to a beachside cafe for afternoon tea and I chose a bowl of fresh strawberries and cream. I’m not sure how many strawberries I had tasted up to that point, but I still remember those sweet fragrant juicy little berries in a cut glass bowl. Their beautiful flavour has stayed with me until this day.
Strawberries went through a period that they were being grown for appearance not flavour, huge woody tasteless, but gorgeous fruit. Consumers began to demand better and thankfully, today, I can again buy intensely sweet luscious strawberries, at a price well below the luxury barrier.
Luscious strawberry jam on my breakfast toast during the winter months will remind me of the inevitability of summer’s return.
750 g white sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
Wash, hull and slice the strawberries. Place in a wide pan with the sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Lower the temperature and simmer until the mixture has set. While the jam is cooking, wash 4 medium sized jars with lids and sterilize them at 140C for 30 minutes.Once the jam has finished cooking, spoon it into the jars and seal immediately. A vacuum will form as the jam cools.
To test if the jam has set, place a small amount on a plate and put it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool. Run your finger through the centre of the blob of cooled jam and if the jam doesn’t run into the space created, it is cooked.
To sterilize the jars:
Thoroughly wash the jars and lids and place in an oven warmed to 120C for 30 minutes. Boil the lids in a pot of water for 5 minutes. Don’t pot the lids in the oven or the plastic coating
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This is a lovely post! I can almost taste the strawberries and cream and your blog is beautiful
Thank you Sam😃
I remember strawberries and cream.
Thanks for the tips on sterilizing. I’ve never felt confident about making jam because recipes just said sterilize the jars and I wasn’t sure how to go about it.
Happy to oblige and now’s the best time to make jam, while there loads of stoned fruit at low prices, blood plum is next on my list
I love strawberries! Although we can get them year-round now, the ONLY strawberries for me are the summer berries, especially when we pick our own. Then I know we’re picking the ripest, ready-to eat berries. Your jam looks lovely!
Thanks, I have a reliable grower I buy directly from. His fields are worth a photo too. SE Asian pickers wearing conical shaped cane hats to protect them from the sun.
I hope Miss E will have a wonderful birthday party with all the best wishes ^^ and your strawberry jam looks great, we gotta love homemade thing like this !
Brava to Miss E. I see a lot of super stylish birthday parties coming. I could not agree more about the fruit. When I moved to the US, I though that the fruit, although gorgeous, was absolutely tasteless. Now things have changed and you can find really good fruit. I ashamedly admit I have never made my own jam. You make it sound very easy. It is a must try for me now.
Brava indeed to Miss E, she will go far! Jam is really easy to make. It’s important to simmer it over a reasonably low heat to maintain a vibrant colour, and to be patient. The pectin in the fruit and the lemon juice will work it’s magic and cause the juices to gel. Sealed jars of jam will keep for a couple of years. My other tip is to make it in small batches, no more than about 1 kg at a time.