Homemade Jam (NEW)

Blackberry Jam

You can't beat home-made jam on a slice of thick crusty bread or a warm buttered scone.

This recipe is for Strawberry Jam, but other soft fruit works just as well - the picture is blackberry jam made from fruit bought in the Galapagos, where blackberries grow abundantly.

Makes 1 1/2 lb jam

Preparation Time:  5 Minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes

1 lb fresh strawberries Juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 lb sugar, brown or white  

Wash the strawberries, cut off the tops and place in a large heavy-bottomed pan - a pressure cooker is ideal. 

Stew the strawberries very slowly over a low heat, about 15 minutes, stirring constantly - this is important to release the pectin from the skins of the fruit, which is used to help the jam set.

Add the lime juice and the sugar, and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. To test for this, tap the bottom of the pan with the spoon. Next, increase the heat and boil rapidly for about 8 minutes without stirring. The jam will foam up, hence the need for a large pan.

Test for setting by removing from the heat, place a tablespoonful of jam on a saucer, leave for a minute, then drag the spoon across - the jam should have created a skin. If not, return to the boil for a few more minutes, then test again.

When ready, remove from the heat, allow to cool for a little while, then ladle the jam into hot, dry sterilised glass jars, and screw on the lids finger-tight. Tighten further when completely cold.