I love it when Sydney gets flooded with Queensland strawberries. They are reasonable in price, and I purchase an excess amount of them.
Most get washed, hulled and frozen. I do love my deep freezer. From there they are generally used in my breakfast smoothies. They go straight from the freezer into the blender with coconut juice, perfect.
Of course they get used for all sorts of other dishes, but smoothies seem to be the main one. Really is the ultimate in lazy and quick breakfasts.
I should mention that Sydney grown strawberries seem to be in abundance at the farmers’ markets at present too!
After placing around two kilograms of strawberries in the freezer, I had a light bulb moment. Why am I not making my own strawberry jam with this glut of strawberries on the market?
So off I toddled back to the shops. Okay, I didn’t toddle. I jumped in to the car, drove, and then sauntered to my local green grocer to purchase more strawberries for jam.
Jam is incredibly easy to make. Why we don’t make more jams, relishes and chutneys at home from seasonal produce I don’t know.
- 350 grams strawberries chunkily chopped
- 350 grams strawberries crushed
- 350 grams sugar
- 2 tablespoon pectin I used Ball’s classic
- In a medium heavy based saucepan, place strawberries, sugar and pectin. Mix well.
- Over a low heat continue to stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Once sugar has dissolved bring mixture up to a soft boil. Cook for around 20 minutes until mixture has reduced and thickened. Be sure to stir the pot every so often to make sure your jam isn’t catching on the bottom and burning.
- To check to see if you jam is at a consistency that you desire. Use a small plate that you have had in the freezer. Place a small dollop of the jam mixture on the frozen plate, give it a minute and see if the consistency is to your liking.
- By soft boiling for 20 minutes, I ended up with a soft set jam.
The above recipe will produce two cups of soft set jam. When I refer to soft set, it resembles more of a conserve than a ‘jelly’. I love having the larger chunks of strawberries through the jam as well. Completely done for look at texture. If you prefer you can use 700 grams of crushed strawberries, but I liked to see some resemblance of fruit in my jams.
I used Ball pectin as that was in my cupboard at the time. Feel free to use any pectin your little heart desires. It was actually the first time I have used pectin, generally I do it the old fashion way by adding some lemon juice and pith & seeds in a muslin pouch (to be removed once cooked).
Of course the brilliance of making your own jam is you can create any flavour combinations you want. I was thinking of being a little more creative with this recipe. Strawberry and champagne was one idea, and then I had the thought of strawberry and chocolate. I have since discovered that men seem to like their jams straight up, so it was plain old strawberry that was made.
What fruit and other ingredient combinations do you think would be awesome for jam? It doesn’t have to include strawberries. I may borrow your ideas and make them for the blog in the future (full credit to your suggestions of course!)