Sunday, 31 August 2008

we're jamin'

Today was overcast, so we decided to preserve summer so that we may enjoy it for a little while longer! This recipe is for a lovely loose jam, rather than a firmly set one and makes 2.5kg of jam.

ingredients;
1.5kg strawberries
1.5kg caster sugar
juice of 2 large lemons
10g unsalted butter

1. Grease the inside of a large preserving pan with butter and place three small plates in the freezer to chill, (three allows for a couple of spare plates in stage three, if you need to repeat the testing process). Hull the strawberries and wipe clean, the fruit must be completely dry before making the jam. Cut large berries in half. Put the sugar in the pan then the strawberries.

2. Put the pan over a very low heat, stit with a wooden spoon and let the sugar gently dissolve. Stir occasionally, to prevent sticking, but don't overdo it, unless you want the fruit to turn to mush. After the sugar has completely dissolved (around 20 minutes), add the lemon juice, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble for 15 minutes. Ignore any froth that appears on the surface of the jam during boiling. Remove pan from the heat.

3. Test to see if it's set. Put a couple of spoonfuls of jam onto one of the chilled plates and leave to cool in the fridge for three to four minutes. Puch a finger through the jam and if it leaves a clean line on the plate then the jam is set (or use your tongue a la Ted below!). If it hasn't return to the heat and boil for another five minutes and then repeat the set test. Stir in a small lump of butter, this helps disperse any scum.


4. Wash the jars thoroughly and dry with a clean towel. heat the jars in a moderate oven for five minutes to sterilise. Next, fill up the jars, using a jam funnel or jug. To seal the jam, put a waxed disc over the jam immediately and cover with cellophane pot covers (the cellophane will shrink over the top of the jars to form an air tight seal). Secure with elastic bands and label the jars when cold.

enjoy x

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