After a lovely day at the Preston Markets, I managed to bag myself a bargain of 1.5kg of fresh strawberries for $4, and 2kg of Peaches for $6 so I thought it would be a great time to make some delicious jam. Thom also got himself some bulk ripe tomatoes and is making homemade Roast Tomato Sauce, which he might do a guest post about soon.

The jam I chose to make is very simple and doesn’t have any artificial jam setters or commercial pectin added. Pectin is found in higher quantities in fruits such as oranges, lemons, quinces, plums and apples and is the reason why jam sets. There isn’t much pectin in strawberries, cherries, stonefruit or pears so you need to add pectin if you don’t want runny jam for these fruits. For this reason, I have chosen to add apple juice that provides pectin and will allow the jam to set slightly. Pectin also needs an acid to work properly so this is easily added with lemon juice. I have also decided to make a relatively low sugar jam as I like mine not so sweet and the strawberries have a natural sweetness anyway.

I think I might have to make some homemade crumpets in the next few weeks to have with my lovely jam!

Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe
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1.5kg strawberries

1 cup apple juice

250g sugar

3 tblsp lemon juice

Wash strawberries, cut stems off and place in a large saucepan with half the apple juice and 1/3 of the sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and heat on medium heat until the fruit has softened. Add the remainder of the sugar, juice and add the lemon juice and boil for about 30mins to 1 hr. While your jam is cooking, wash your jars in very hot water, rinse and dry. Spoon your jam into jars and put lids on while still hot. This will create a seal for your jar. Keep in the fridge for a few months.

Makes 4 med-sml jars.

Notes: Using a large saucepan means that your fruit will heat quickly and have a fresher taste.

You can use proper sterilized preserving jars if you want your jam to keep for longer and out of the fridge. This website has some tips about Proper Preserving Methods.

If your jam is a bit runny, don’t worry, it will still be delicious and can be used as a strawberry sauce on icecream.

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