It’s that time of year again. Time for strawberry jam. Everyone has their own favourite flavour of jam and mine is strawberry. Most strawberry jam is, frankly, dire, and so I turn yet again to renowned preserves expert Vivien Lloyd for the definitive recipe. Her strawberry jam has to be tasted to be believed – it is spectacularly good. But not only does she make superb jam, she writes superb recipes that really work at home. It is therefore with great pleasure that I bring to you Vivien’s strawberry jam recipe, which I’m sharing, along with the photo, with kind permission from the great lady herself.
Makes about 2.25kg (5lb)
1.58kg (3 ½ lbs) strawberries (stalks removed)
400ml (14floz) of pectin stock
1.4kg (3lb) granulated, cane sugar
1. Make the pectin stock by simmering 1kg ( 2lbs) gooseberries or red currants, barely covered in water. Mash it thoroughly. Once the fruit is pulpy strain it into a bowl through a sieve lined with muslin. Measure the juice. Keep 400ml/14floz for the recipe and freeze any left over.
2. Put the fruit into a large preserving pan. Simmer until the fruit softens and the contents of the pan have reduced by a third, about 20 minutes. Add the pectin stock and bring the pan back to a gentle simmer. Continue to cook for another twenty minutes. Warm the sugar in a low oven, 140C ( 120C Fan) /275F/Gas 1. Remove the sugar from the oven and place clean jars in the oven to warm for 10 minutes.
3. Add the sugar to the preserving pan and stir until it has dissolved. Bring the jam quickly to a rolling boil and boil hard until setting point is reached. Test for a set after 7 minutes using the flake, cold plate or thermometer test. For a flake test, dip a large spoon into the pan and scoop out a spoonful. Lift the spoon above the pan and turn it horizontally. If the jam has reached setting point of 104.5℃ ( 220℉) it will drip then hang on the side of the spoon. As soon as setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for 10 minutes. Push any scum from the surface of the pan to the side and remove it with a metal spoon.
4. Gently stir the strawberry jam and pour it into warm, clean jars, up to the brim. Seal the jars immediately with new twist top lids. Leave the jars upright and undisturbed to set.