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Recipe: Foolproof strawberry jam

Recipe: Foolproof strawberry jam Author: Style At Home

Recipes

Recipe: Foolproof strawberry jam

As you pour the jewel-bright mixture into jars, you can feel as if you are preserving the very essence of summer to enjoy in the winter months ahead — provided you can wait that long! But the process can also be plagued by pitfalls, leaving you hot and bad-tempered with a gloopy mess that refuses to set or a stiff goo that cuts like jelly — never anything in between. The following recipe slould ensure success every time, however. Using jam sugar for low-pectin fruits such as strawberries definitely helps, as does heating the sugar in the oven first, which reduces the overall cooking time. Slow cooking before the sugar is added and a very intense and short boil afterwards preserves the colour and flavour of the fruit as well as providing the best consistency.

You will need
• 1.5kg (31b, 6oz) strawberries, wiped clean and with
the stalks removed
• Juice of large lemon
• 2 kg (41b 8oz) jam sugar, heated for 20 minutes in a
low oven
• Knob of butter
• 5 X 375 (l3oz) sterilized jars

To make

Put a small plate in the fridge to cool. Place the fruit and lemon juice in a stainless steel (aluminium can react with acid fruit) preserving pan and heat until the juices run. Crush with a potato masher and cook for a further 5 minutes without boiling.

Add the warmed sugar and stir until completely dissolved, still being careful not to boil. Add the butter. Then, increase the heat to maximum and bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Start timing and boil for minutes.

Remove from the heat and test whether it has set by dropping a teaspoonful of jam on the chilled plate, leaving for a minute and seeing if wrinkles form when the surface is pushed with a spoon. If they do, the jam is ready and can be poured into sterilized jars (fresh from a hot dishwasher will do), labelled and stored. If not, boil up again and test a few minutes later.

If giving your jam away as presents, make pretty cotton covers and secure them with string or an elastic band. Using a print featuring the fruit you have used is a nice touch.

homemade.jpg Excerpted from Homemade: Gorgeous Things to Make with Love by Ros Badger and Elspeth Thompson. Copyright 2009 by HarperCollins. Excerpted with permission by HarperCollins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Recipes

Recipe: Foolproof strawberry jam