fruity jam full of festive flavours - make in summer, keep for winter
This delicious strawberry jam is infused with festive winter spices to give it a christmassy taste; it's perfect all through winter and especially for breakfast on christmas morning!
You can make it at any time, but obviously summer is best because the price of soft fruit is at its lowest and you can get it locally sourced.
This recipe is very simple and contrary to popular belief jam-making is not actually hard at all! Once made it will keep for between 6 months and a year.
Note: main picture shows last year's marmalade not strawberry jam! But pictures below are this years.
Remove the stems and wash your strawberries then weigh them. Work out how much sugar you will need based on around these examples:
450g strawberries = 500g jam sugar
900g strawberries = 1000g jam sugar
1200g strawberries = 1300g jam sugar
Make a note of your measurement and add the strawberries to a large pot on the stove.
To this add water. For every 300g of strawberries add 50ml of water.
While the strawberries cook take the spices you have available which can be any, some or all of the following: cinnamon; ginger; mixed spice; juniper berries; star anise; cloves.
Take the spices that need infused (i.e. cant just be eaten whole as they are) and crush them. Then add these to 75ml of boiling water and let them infuse for 10 minutes at least.
Example of amounts:
For 1200g strawberries I use 1tsp cloves, 1tsp juniper berries and 1 star anise.
You need the jam to reach 127 degrees celcius if you have a thermometer. However, if not there is an easy way to test. When the jam has boiled for a while take a plate and carefully spoon a bit of jam on it. Place it in the fridge for a minute. Then test it by pressing it with your finger. If the jam has a film on top, and starts to wrinkle it is ready. If not and it is still runny, boil more and try again.
Finally decorate the jars. This image is of marmalade I made last christmas in the same way as the jam, because I am not going to decorate the jams until this christmas. You can use just plain labels or tags if you want. To replicate this cut squares of christmas fabric and place over the lid, securing with an elastic band. Then tie tight with ribbon and remove the elastic band. Onto the ribbon add another ribbon which has tied to it cinnamon sticks and dried out citrus slices. You can also add a tag; I made tags by cutting small motifs from used christmas cards, and punching a hole in them. For a last touch get a christmassy fragrance and spray the fabric!