Strawberry Jam 

Who is ready to make strawberry jam with all those delicious strawberries in season now?

Soft fruit has a very short season so it’s lovely to capture and bottle them so you and your family and friends can enjoy them throughout the year. I think my Fraoula/Strawberry jam is by far the easiest recipe you will find – it’s soft, has a fantastic colour, is spreadable and of course so delicious.

Ingredients (makes x2 850ml jars x 4 small ones):

1kg strawberries, hulled (use a small sharp knife to remove stem) and cut them in half

1kg granulated sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

A few drops vanilla extract (optional)

Method:

Prepare the strawberries by washing them, then drain or wipe them with damp kitchen paper.

Place the fruit in a preserving pan, add sugar and crush with a potato masher. Leave at room temperature for a few hours or overnight; This insures that the fruit keeps its beautiful red colour.

Place the strawberries over a low heat, cook gently, stirring from time to time until sugar dissolves.

Turn the heat up until it starts bubbling and bring to the boil. Add the lemon juice and boil for 15-20 minutes. Add the vanilla and test – the jam has to reach 220 degrees Fahrenheit (105 degrees Celcius) on a thermometer. You can drop a little jam on a very cold plate, leave for 30 seconds, if the jam wrinkles and when you run your finger through it leaves a valley, then it is ready, if not re-boil until set. At the end, skim any scum from the surface.

While still hot, ladle into warm, sterilized jars, cover with wax discs, cool then seal and label.

For a longer shelf life, the jam needs to be placed in a hot water bath. Process the filled jars in the boiling water, cover pan with a lid and boil for 10 minutes. Remove lid and after 5 minutes, carefully remove the jars with a cloth and place on a towel upside down until cold – it helps to seal better, it’s a Greek thing, trust me it works!

When cool, label and store in a cool dry place – it will keep up to a year. Always refrigerate after opening.

 

 

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