It’s a beautiful thing to make use of fresh, raw ingredients straight from the garden or farmer’s market. Most often to eat exactly as nature intended… though many a Saturday during the warmer months of the year, I find myself returning from the markets with a basket and bag overflowing with produce – my enthusiasm getting the better of me.
That’s where preserves come in. The following is a simple recipe, though one that produces a delicious jam, packed full of flavour, with just the right amount of tartness from the lemon juice to cut through the syrupy sweetness.
It was a fabulous breakfast this morning of strawberry jam slathered croissants.
Summer Strawberry Jam | Gather and Graze
- 750g Fresh Strawberries (hulled)
- 60ml/¼ Cup Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed)
- 125ml/½ Cup Water
- 1 Teaspoon Rose Essence (optional)
- 500g/2¼ Cups Raw (Caster) Sugar
Place the strawberries, lemon juice, rose essence (if using) and water into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, until the fruit has softened completely.
Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble away for another 10 minutes or so, until thickened. Keep a very good eye on the pot and stir regularly to avoid any burning on the base.
For jam to reach setting point it should be about 105°C (220°F) – test with a thermometer if you have one. Otherwise, have a small plate standing by in the freezer, to which you can scoop a little jam to test – put the plate back in the freezer for a minute or two – if it is ready it will gel together nicely, as jam usually does.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes (removing any foam from the top) before scooping into warm, sterilised jars. Seal immediately and allow to cool completely.
- To sterilise the jars and lids – wash in warm, soapy water, then rinse well and place on a tray in an oven pre-heated to 130°C for about 20 minutes. Or you can boil them in a large saucepan for 15 minutes.
- Be sure to place hot preserves directly into hot jars and cold preserves into cold jars.
Looks wonderful! Like the idea of rose essence added to your jam.
Thanks Lidia! Not quite the right season for you to be making use of this recipe – sorry!
As I mentioned to Karen, just below, the flavour of this jam was wonderful, though I didn’t detect a strong rose taste whatsoever – I’m going to play around with the quantity next time to see how far I can push it. Margot
I’m the same Margot and I am constantly being told to spend less money on food, although I don’t hear any complaints when they eat the results. I am intrigued by the use of rose essence in you jam, I will have to try that when I make my next batch – thank goodness strawberries are still in season!
I need to get better at freezing portions of fruit/veg/herbs if I know I’m not going to get through them fresh. Something to work on… 😉 The rose essence didn’t seem to perfume the jam in a strong way whatsoever, but overall the flavour was just beautiful. I might play around with the quantity of essence next time I make some though, just to see what it can do. Not sure if rose water would be a better option?
What a beautiful colour your jam is; my strawberry jam often ends up a sort of washed out colour. Excellent looking breakfast.
Thank you Anne! I love the colour too – could it be perhaps the amount of lemon juice? It was also kept on the softer side of jam.
That first picture: NOT FAIR! I’m totally salivating here, lamenting my croissant and jam less breakfast 🙂
Azita, if I could send you some, I would! 😉 I’m pretty sure though that your menu for today won’t be short on deliciousness! Have a great day. Margot
Well, there was a birthday cake and my mom made a DELICIOUS khoresh, so have to agree, Margot, that it was a day with a lot of deliciousness. 🙂 I’m greedy though, would have liked to have started the day gobbling up your jam with a croissant.
I KNEW IT! Here I was feeling a little sorry for you with no jam-slathered croissant at breakfast time… 😉 Perhaps you’ll find it in your heart to sympathise with me for not finishing my day with birthday cake and khoresh. 😉 Ahhh food, glorious food!
I love homemade jams. They taste so much better than store bought.
Me too – something very reassuring in knowing the quality of ingredients within! They come from the heart too, I think. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Margot
I can relate to the bag and basket overflowing with product, especially as we leave winter behind. Your strawberry jam has such a gorgeous colour! I’ve been making roasted strawberries and using in muffins, goat cheese cakes, etc. Maybe I’ll tackle jam-making this year.
Can you imagine when the stone fruit all start to come in? Juggling baskets, bags AND trays! Your roasted strawberries sound delicious – I can just imagine how wonderful they would be wrapped up inside the warm muffins! M 🙂