In the UK June is the month of Wimbledon and strawberries. In fact the two are inseperabe. If you grow your own or if you rely on bought strawberries, below is a delicious recipe for making your own jam. It is quick and easy to do and just tastes so good, especially with scones or toast.
There are now many farms that offer families a fun day out picking their own crop. If you can fit it in, the best time to pick and make jam are Fire Days during the Waning Moon. For best results look out for the jam jar symbol on our lifestyle calendar and avoid days where the jam jar symbols is crossed out, as these days attract more moisture and mould.
What do you need to make your own delicious strawberry jam?
A general rule for making jams: Fill your jam glasses with boiling water before use or even better sterilise them in a pressure cooker. If you like making your own jam, then I suggest you keep a pot and cooking spoon just dedicated to this task and make sure that they are both REALLY clean. Done on the right day and with the right method/equipment, you can rest assured that your jam will last and won’t get mouldy.
Recipe for simple Strawberry jam:
Equipment needed: 1 large cooking pot and wooden spoon (both very clean), 8-9 medium sized jam jars (sterilised) or 4-5 large jam jars (sterilised), all jars must have tight fitting lids. I tea towel.
Ingredients: 1kg strawberries (washed and stalks removed, 1kg jam sugar, 1 small unwaxed lemon, a small pinch of pepper
- Sterilise 8 to 9 medium jam jars (or 4-5 larger ones). Put them on a tea towel, so they are ready to receive the hot jam mixture. Make sure you also sterilise the lids as this if often a spot where mould form.
- Cut the washed strawberries into small pieces. Then rinse the lemon and grate the rind finely. Finally put the strawberries, grated rind, pepper and sugar in a clean pot and boil for about 4-5 minutes.
- Pour the jam mixture straightaway into the sterilised jars and cover them tightly with cling film. Then close the lid on top of the cling film. This will give it extra protection.
If there is time you can also bake your scones and enjoy both with a great cup of tea.
Recipe for scones:
Equipment needed: 2 plastic cake mixing bowls, pastry brush, whisk, baking tray, round pastry cutter
Ingredients: 225g self-raising flour (or 225g of plain flour and 1tsp of baking powder) and a bit extra for dusting, a pinch of salt, 2tbsp caster sugar, 55g butter (bit extra for greasing), 150ml buttermilk, 1 egg (beaten), 50 g of mixed sultanas, raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
- Preheat oven to about 200/220 degrees centigrade and grease a baking tray with butter.
- Pour the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingers. You will get a crumbly mixture. Then add the sultanas or other dried fruit.
- Beat the egg into the buttermilk and add the sugar, so it becomes a golden coloured mixture.
- Make a well in the middle of your flour mixture and add the egg/buttermilk/sugar mixture. Work quickly, as speed here is important. You should now have a soft dough.
- Dust your surface with some flour and shape the dough into an even thickness of about 1cm. With a round pastry cutter, cut out the round scones and place them next to each other on the greased baking sheet. Repeat until the dough is gone.
- Glaze the scones with a little milk using your pastry brush and bake them for around 10-12 minutes until they have risen and are golden brown.
- Afterwards leave them cool on a plate and serve with cream, strawberry jam and a good cup of tea.