This recipe from my mother was my first attempt at jam making. I’m not sure who developed this version, but the jam is sensational as it is slightly tart, having only half the sugar of other recipes. As strawberries have a high pectin content, it sets well.
It’s really a conserve, as the fruit is kept whole. Conserves are a form of preserving in which whole fruit is suspended in jelly. I find berries make great conserves.
My mother noted: “do not make large quantities – 2 pounds (1kilo) of strawberries is the maximum to be made at the one time”.
I’ve been making this conserve for ages and it’s always scrumptious.
Juice of 1 lemon
Hull the strawberries and put into a china or plastic basin (not metal). Cover with the sugar and leave for several hours or overnight.
Add lemon juice and gently stir the mixture to make sure all the sugar is dissolved.
Transfer to a large saucepan and boil briskly, testing for setting point regularly. When setting point* is reached – about 25 to 30 minutes, remove pan from the stove. Ladle carefully into sterilised jars and leave to cool.
Note: use a wooden spoon and do not stir vigorously so that the berries are kept mostly intact.
*Testing for setting point
While the jam is cooking, place a small saucer in the freezer to thoroughly chill (about 5 minutes). When you think the jam may have reached setting point, remove the saucer form the freezer, place a teaspoonful of jam on it, put back in the freezer for 3 or 4 minutes. If the jam has a jelly-like consistency or a crinkly skin has formed on the sample, the jam is ready.