If you’ve ever visited the tea room, you might be aware that we do group tours of the Abbey and church. Normally we organise these for WIs or historic groups, but occasionally we just do a drop in. Well, after one tour we had a few strawberries left over………
So what do you do if you have 3.5lbs of fruit left over and a tea room. The obvious answer is to make jam. Now, I make chilli jam all the time but shy away from fruit generally. It’s relatively difficult to make because it requires an accurate ratio of fruit to sugar and pectin to set. This is in addition to boiling to a specific temperature. However, as a pretty girl once told me, you’re a surgeon that flies drones, builds model aeroplanes and helps run a tea room, you can do everything……….
So, to rise to that challenge –
Homemade Strawberry Jam
- 3.5lbs Strawberries
- 3.5lbs Jam sugar
- 2 Lemons (juice)
You ideally also need a jam pan, jam jars, sugar thermometer and a funnel
Start by getting all the ingredients and equipment and taking a pretty photo. Really don’t know what I’ll do if I have to move to the city – farmhouse kitchens are nicer.
Once the photos have been taken, remove the stalk and tops off all the strawberry’s. You can cut into half’s or quarters at this point as well to help them cook faster.
Place the fruit into the jam pan and put on a low heat- the simmering hob of an AGA works fantastic. Simmer the fruit down till it has formed a pulp. At this point I wondered if the pulp cooled, served over ice with gin would be an option- but that’s another day’s experimenting.
To the pulp add the sugar and lemon juice. Return to the Aga but on the boiling hob this time.
Start to increase the temperature to the jam mark on your thermometer. That’s about 104C
While the jam cooks, heat the jars up in the bottom Aga till they are too hot to touch – this sterilises them and helps the jam last.
When the jam is boiling and a spoonful placed onto a cold saucer forms a skin it is time to bottle up. Using a sterile funnel and spoon transfer the jam into jam jars. I decided to go for 4 large jars and a dozen minis. It should last for a couple of months.
Ok, so what do you do with that much Jam.
Well, so many options – eat it on scones, use it to make a cheesecake, fill a Victoria Sponge
Either way, what it gets used for will be available to buy at the tea room tomorrow (22/7). Enjoy………