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28 Jun 2009

Strawberry Jam

Yesterday we went to a local PYO farm to collect fruit for jamming. As much as we love redcurrant jelly we decided to skip it for this year and try something new - so I spent £15 on mostly strawberries.

Strawberries are terrible to jam, they are low in pectin, high in water and (in the shops in the UK) low in flavour. If it were not for the national obsession with them, no one in their right mind would bother with them...

I decided to use the recipe of Francis Miot, who is some top French jam maker:

  • 700 g strawberries (fraises)
  • 350 g redcurrants (groseilles) - you are supposed to remove the pips with a goose quill but we skipped this...
  • 200 g water (d'eau) - it seemed an awful lot but it did turn out okay
  • 1/2 lemon (citron décongelé) - ideally frozen and defrosted
  • 800 g sugar (sucre blanc) - does not need added pectin
  • 30 ml red wine (vin rouge) - we skipped this as we don't drink wine

The method is his standard method. First heat the sugar, water and lemon (squeezed juice and whole fruit) up to a full boil (121°C), then you add your topped and halved strawberries and (deseeded) redcurrants and bring back to a full boil. You then boil on full heat for 20 minutes before potting into hot cleaned jars as normal.

For best flavour do not add butter, remove the scum with a slotted jam spoon instead. Don't soak your fruit overnight in sugar as it draws out too much water - or so Mr Miot says.

We started with 2.1 Kg strawberries and 1.05 Kg redcurrants and yielded 13 (full) 370 g Bonne Maman jars. This morning we opened a jar to test - VERY GOOD!