Saturday, 16 June 2012

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Who would have thought that making strawberry jams at home is sooooooo...... easy? You did? Well, I didn't. I remember my grandma making pineapple jam at home when I was little girl, which was such a lengthy and tiresome process that I never asked her for the recipe. My husband always raves about how his Mum and Aunt made jam at home when he was a boy but that too didn't kick me to look around for jam recipes.

So when Debra (Masterchef Aus Contestant 2012) prepared strawberry jam for their Devonshire tea Team Challenge, I was surprised. And my eyes popped out when she listed the ingredients - fresh strawberries and white sugar; nothing else. But she did, later in the show, mention about not having any setting agent like lemon juice, apple seeds or apple skins (oooh!! that is all information to me).

Curiosity got the better of me. I had to find out if this is true. And I had to make it at home to believe it!

Makes: 600 ml (approx.)

Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes + cooling time


Fresh strawberry - 500g, hulled, washed and drained
Caster Sugar - 250g
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp


 1. Place strawberries in a saucepan and stir through with sugar. Crush strawberries; just a little. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix well.
2. Heat over low-heat and simmer gently until the sugar dissolves. Then turn up the heat to medium-high and boil the mixture for 10-15 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat and using a ladle scoop the foam off the top layer.
3. Let jam cool down to room temperature. Homemade Strawberry Jam is ready to use.

Wrinkle Test
Before removing jam from heat, how do we know for sure that the jam mixture has boiled enough for it to set? By doing the wrinkle test. This is how to do it.

When you think the jam may be ready, put a little dab of the hot stuff on a chilled saucer, and put it back in the freezer for one minute. Take your jam saucepan off the heat while you do this so it doesn’t cook down further. When the minute is up push at the blob with your fingertip. Do little wrinkles show on the surface? If so, it’s ready. If not, it needs to cook a bit more.

Note:- I want to add at this point that the amount of sugar required should be adjusted depending on the ripeness of the fruit. The strawberry I used in this recipe were not as sweet as the summer strawberries, yet I found the jam really sweet. 

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