from one generation to the next
One of the aspects I truly loved about Melbourne when we lived there was the four distinct seasons. The people in Brisbane talk about “spring” but the only change I feel is an increase in the temperature and humidity. To help you understand Brisbane’s weather, let me tell you petunias bloom autumn winter spring, it’s too wet in summer, and basil, in a protected spot, continues to flourish over “winter.”
Perhaps I’m stretching the point a little… The first flush of strawberries have hit the market. They are big, sweet, juicy and very cheap. Their delicious perfume wafts through the fruit shop tempting the most resolute shopper. I am in strawberry heaven.
The day after buying a number of punnets of the aforementioned strawberries I picked up a copy of Diana Henry’s “Salt Sugar Smoke” from the library. It’s only this year I’ve become acquainted with Henry’s recipes and I’m hooked. Anyway in the first section on Jams she includes a recipe for strawberry and passionfruit jam. This is not a flavour combination I would have considered for a conserve, but with a rather large stash of passionfruit pulp in the freezer getting toward the end of it’s shelf life I decided to give up a punnet of my coveted berries and make a trial batch of jam.
I based the proportions of fruit I used on a single 250g punnet of strawberries. I’m rubbish at numbers so adjusting the measures of the other ingredients was just guesswork. Despite that, the flavour of the jam is wonderful. The passionfruit adds a beautiful sharpness to the strawberry flavour, but it also makes it rounder, more robust.
The flavour is very exotic. One small jar is just the beginning.
The berry, passionfruit and sugar quantities can be increased fourfold, but only double the amount of lemon juice.
Strawberry and Passionfruit Jam
250g luscious sweet strawberries
Pulp of 4 passionfruit
200g castor sugar
Juice of 1 small lemon
Wash and hull the strawberries and cut into chunks.
Put the berries, passionfruit pulp, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
Over a medium heat stir the fruit until the sugar has melted.
Increase the heat, bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
Remove any surface scum.
Simmer until the jam gels*.
Spoon into sterilized** jars, seal immediately.
Keep the jam refrigerated once the seal is broken
*Once the jam begins to thicken, it’s time to start testing it to see if it has gelled. I put a small dob on a saucer, put it into the fridge for a minute or two then remove it and drag a finger through the cool jam. If the jam doesn’t run back into the finger track then it is ready to put into sterilized jars, seal and store.
**To sterilise the jar, wash in warm soapy water, soak off the old label, then put the jar only on a tray in a preheated 120C oven for 30 minutes. Boil the lid in small saucepan of water for 5 minutes before topping the hot jars of chutney. As it cools, a vacuum is created, guaranteeing longevity, up to 2 years on the pantry shelf.