How to make homemade strawberry jam? The recipe is very simple: cut the strawberries into small pieces, put them in a large saucepan with sugar and lemon juice, heat this mixture over a low heat and wait. The mixture becomes a caramelized liquid where the strawberry pieces are floating and slowly dissolving in a fluid mass. The smell emanating from the pot reminds me of a candy store … it is pure happiness!
The traditional recipes of homemade strawberry jam usually recommend the same amount of fruit and sugar, but you can easily reduce the sugar quantity so that the fruit flavour is more noticeable and at the same time it makes the jam healthier.
The gelatinous texture of the jam is due to a fiber hold by the fruit skins, the pectin, which turn into gel when it is heated with the sugar. Strawberries naturally bear little pectin, so you need to compensate for it with the juice of one lemon per kilo of strawberry, citrus being famous for carrying a lot of pectin. Even so the jam will still be slightly liquid, especially if you put less sugar as I recommend, but I do not care because it is easier to spread that way.
How to preserve homemade strawberry jam?
It is very easy, there are just a few simple steps to follow when you pot the jam:
- Sterilize the jam pots for a few minutes in boiling water before filling them.
- Fill the pot while the jam is still boiling, as far up as possible in the pot to avoid trapped air (around like 5 mm below the top), and without spillage on the external part of the crystal to ensure airtightness.
- Close the pots immediately, turn them upside down and let them cool down in this position, with the lid down. The remaining air will be trapped at the bottom of the pot, and that way you will not have mould.
- When you open a pot, you have to hear the “pop” sound that ensures the tightness packed.
I like it because:
- You can adapt the recipe according to your taste, mixing various fruits or decreasing the amount of sugar, which can feel the taste of fruits while the jam is healthier.
- The smell of the mixture while boiling is wonderful, between candy and caramelising fruit.
- You can prepare several pots in advance, and have your favourite fruit jam all through the year.
- You can use white or brown sugar as you please. Personally I prefer the brown sugar because I like its stronger flavour.
- Strawberries do not completely melt during the cooking, so you can mix the mixture with an electric whisk before potting the jam, in order to have homogeneous texture.
- You can also prepare the jam with frozen fruits instead of fresh ones. It is very economical and the recipe works great as well, reducing the cooking time by 30 minutes.
- If you really want to have the gelatinous texture, you can add some pectin to the mixture.
INGREDIENTS FOR 5 POTS OF JAM
- 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg) strawberries
- 1,8 pound (800g) brown sugar
- 1 large lemon
Recipe of the homemade strawberry jam
- Remove the tail of the strawberries, clean them and cut them into two or three pieces depending on their size.
- Squeeze the lemon.
- Put the strawberries, the sugar and the lemon juice in a large saucepan, and cook over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. During the boiling, you will see a slight foaming above the liquid.
- When finished, turn off the heat and remove the foam with a skimmer.
- Blend the mixture with a hand blender to make it smooth, and pour the warm jam into the sterilized pot, filling them up to the top, and avoiding any spillage on the external part of the crystal to ensure tightness.
- Then close the containers with their lid and turn them upside down, with the tap down. Leave the pots cooling down in this position.
The pots can be stored in a dry place, away from any light for several months. When you open a pot, you have to hear the “pop” sound that ensures that it’s tightly packed.