Ok I know that you can buy jam for like three euros in 2 minutes. BUT there’s some Martha-Stewart-is-my-Spirit-Animal type magic about making your own, and the freedom to mix some incredible, unique flavours (French Brandy and Orange Marmalade, anyone?). I am obsessed with Turkish rose water in everything from cakes to face spritzer, strawberries are super abundant right now and sometimes I just want to spend a damn afternoon making jam.
500g sugar (normal granulated)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
3 Tbsp rose water
Wash, hush and roughly quarter (or halve) your strawberries. Dry off slightly with a tea towel and place in a large sauce pan. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together over a low heat. As the mix warms, the strawberries will begin to release their liquid.
Gently increase the heat to Medium/Low and leave on a gentle simmer. It’s a slow process, but too high a heat will make overcooked jam -hard, dark and looking a gummi bear from hell. After about 10 minutes your mix should be quite soupy and loose with a beautiful, vibrant colour.
Stir intermittently, and allow to gently simmer for about 45 minutes while occasionally skimming the foam from the surface.
By now your home will smell like some Disney Princess dream. Place a small plate in the freezer for five minutes and turns your jam down low. The best way I’ve found to test if the jam is ready, is to dollop a small amount onto a cold plate and leave in the fridge for about five minutes. Your jam is ready when you can gently push your finger against the dollop and it wrinkles up, rather than flooding out as a liquid. If you first jam test is still too liquid-y, leave on a low heat for another 10 minutes and try again.
This recipe will fill a medium/large sized jam jar. Remember to sterilise your jar before decanting, (either in the oven, hot washing machine, or by boiling), and put hot jam in a warm jar, or if your jar has cooled, allow your jam to cool too.
This is something that would make a cute gift (particularly with personalised flavours), or – as I did – immediately gift it to yourself, smear over every carb you have in your home and then eat it by the spoonful. Nomnomnom.