Do you have strawberries growing in your garden? Why not make your very own delicious strawberry jam, perfect for enjoying with cream on a scone, or in a Victoria sponge.
Growing your strawberries
Strawberries can be grown from seed, but as this method takes over a year produce plants big enough to produce fruit, gardeners overwhelmingly opt for small young plants. These are widely available, very cheap and often come in a range of strawberry varieties.
Choose a plot with well-drained soil and which is sheltered from strong winds. Although excessive frost can damage strawberry plants, (you should prepare accordingly) generally speaking strawberries are hardy and versatile and are able to grow in most soils and locations.
Sunshine is important, so choose a location without much shade. Adding organic material, compost or a general fertiliser to the topsoil can give your strawberries a welcome boost, increasing your chances of a truly rich harvest.
Before the strawberries are fully established, watering regularly is quite important as the plants can be very thirsty at this stage.
Once the strawberries begin to turn from green to red, it’s time to start checking back every day as they ripen quickly. Pick your strawberries at the warmest part of the day, as this will ensure the best taste.
For more information, read our ‘Grow your own strawberries’ article.
Making your jam
This recipe was adapted from this BBC Goodfood recipe.
Clean your strawberries, remove the stems and hull them by cutting into them in a cone shape.
Toss the strawberries with the sugar and leave them overnight.
Tip the strawberry sugar mixture into a pan and add lemon juice and cook over a low heat until all sugar grains have been dissolved.
Turn up the heat and boil hard for 5 – 10 minutes, until it reaches 105C, then take off the heat.
Use a spoon to remove any scum that has come up during the boiling process.
Spoon into warm jars and seal.
Enjoy with fresh scones and cream, or use for a classic Victoria sponge.