Strawberry Rose & Vanilla Jam

I grow fugly fruit. There, I said it, and it’s true. My strawberries are not going to feature in any food photography, and since they were a little tart too, the best thing to do was turn them into delicious Strawberry Jam.

Strawberries in a colander at the sink, just washed
Not so beautiful strawberries, no prizes for good looks, but perfect for preserving.

Jam isn’t too difficult to make, particularly if you use specialised Jam Sugar. This contains pectin, which is what will help your Jam to set.

Some fruit contains more pectin than others, so it’s handy to use jam sugar, if you don’t want soft set (annoyingly runny) Jam.

I wasn’t organised enough to get jam sugar in, I just had regular granulated, so I juiced a fresh lemon and added that to the mix; lemon being high in pectin.

Your quantities will be equal amounts of sugar to fruit, in my case 1kg of both (about 2lbs in old money) but since I was a little short of this in strawberries I made it up with raspberries, the ones I picked before the birds.

My garden wall, with a Thrush sitting on top, ready to raid the raspberries and cherries
This twerp is brazen and using my fruit bushes like McDonadl’s for birds

First things first, sterilise your jars. 1kg of fruit will give you about 4 pots of Jam. I sterilised mine first in boiled water and then in the microwave. The metallic lids were immersed in boiling water.

Ingredients

1kg of strawberries

1kg of sugar (preferably Jam sugar)

Juice of one lemon

Entirely optional:

I also added a capful of vanilla essence and a capful of rose essence. Whatever floats your boat, I think cardamom would also have worked very well.

Strawberries being prepped, by hulling and cut in half if necessary
Hulling strawberries

Wash and hull the strawberries

Transfer your fruit to a large heavy bottomed saucepan, gently heat the strawberries and lemon juice before adding the sugar and flavours (if you are using them)

Large heavy bottomed saucepan on the hob, filled with strawberries and covered in melting sugar
As the fruit heats it starts to release a beautiful fragrance

The sugar will dissolve very quickly and you now want to bring this to a boil.

Be careful – sugar boils at a higher temperature than water, a jap from this could give a nasty burn.

You will see that the boiling creates a froth on top. This would make your Jam cloudy, so remove this with a metal spoon.

If using jam sugar, boil for about 6 minutes. If using ordinary sugar, it will take much longer to reach setting point.

A good way to tell is by using a cold plate. Drop a small spoonful onto the plate and when it has cooled enough push your finger over the top. If the jam forms a slight wrinkle, you are good to go.

Let the jam cool for a moment and bask in the amazing aroma that is now filling your house. This is your ‘domestic Goddess’ moment, use it to full effect.

Filling the jars

This is easier with a funnel but not impossible without. Just watch out for splashes.

Fill the jars up to the neck and put a little waxed paper disk on top (if you want to keep your jam for any length of time) then put cellophane or the jar lid on top – depending on what you are using. Keeping it airtight will help it’s lifespan.

Pots of hot strawberry jam before the lids go on

Jam jar, filled to the brim, with a wax disc
Almost finished

Now all you have to do is let it cool, and enjoy.

Did someone say Victoria Sponge? … oh baby!

Strawberry Jam, Losing the Plot pin
J

33 comments

    • Will do dahling! The aroma, though! I know that self praise is no recommendation, but seriously… it was knee knockingly good! 1/2 a jar was devoured at breakfast this morning!

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  1. Ooh Victoria sponge sandwiched together with home made strawberry and raspberry jam sounds amazing. Oops I forgot, I’m supposed to be on a diet, just as well you can only share the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds good!
    I’ve discovered a few years ago that jam is so easy to do. Never bought it again. I use normal sugar, but after all, you put it to boil and it does everything by itself 😉 And it’s a lot better than anything you may buy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a big difference in taste. It’s maybe worth while bearing in mind for smaller batches when supermarkets do their buy one get one free offers

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    • Hi! Yes, it looks a bit like sugar sprinkles as the bits are usually larger, but it’s just sugar with added pectin. You can buy bottles of pectin and it’s useful for making jam with fruit like peaches or apricot that don’t contain much naturally, just so that you get a good set. Needless to say – it’s more expensive

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I was surprised at the haul too, though this was mainly because I was in competition with my son who was guzzling them faster than I could pick! 😊

      I’m not complaining – not so long ago, he ate no fruit, this is part of the reason for growing our own

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Iv always wanted to make jam, but had visions of a terrible, sticky mess but you make it look easy! I love the sound of the vanilla and rose in it too, sounds so different, yum! You have inspired me to give it a go! We love a bit of fugly fruit, no one likes perfect haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not too bad, sugar is easy to clean as it dissolves so fast, even if it’s burnt. But there’s no reason for it to go everywhere if you are careful. Just keep an eye while it is boiling so you can turn the temperature down if necessary – it’ll be grand!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The raspberries are gorgeous – this has been a good year for them. But it’s very hard not to just eat them off the bush they are so sweet!

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