Strawberry season is here, wooohooooo! I vowed at the beginning of the year that this year I would make strawberry jam, once the season was upon us. Get ready for a selection of strawberry based recipes. It is no secret that I loooooooovveeee the combination of strawberry and basil; basil MIGHT be my favourite herb but it has serious competition from coriander and rosemary, oh and mint. What is your favourite herb? It’s like choosing between children right?!
So, this jam, I have been dreaming it up for a while and my gosh was it worth the wait. It might just be my favourite. I’m hoping to go to a local pick your own this summer to get a few kgs worth to jam, to last me the year. I was super worried it wouldn’t set, because strawberries do not like to set, the low pectin cretins. Anyway, it set fine, phew! I mean it was soft set, but that’s what you want from a strawberry jam right?! I even made a miniature jar ready to take on a cream tea picnic. I cannot wait. Life goals.
I based the recipe on this one, but added the basil twist. Also, when you first put it all in the pan, then stir, it looks like a big brown mess. Do not fear, it will be red by the end. Ideally you need to start the night before you want to make it, it isn’t essential but apparently it helps the strawberries keep their colour and shape.
Also, sorry for being so absent. I’m currently doing a distance learning course in the evenings, working full time and half marathon training, all of which are quite the time drain. I’m sure all of my two readers are coping but, ya know.
Ingredients: (Makes 3-4 large jars)
- 1 kg of strawberries, hulled and wiped clean (washing them makes them watery), halve the large ones
- 750 g of jam sugar
- 30 g of basil (ish, a nice handful, stalks and all)
- The juice of one lemon
- Jars, sterilised
- Jam funnel (optional but useful)
- Jam or digital (food) thermometer
- Place ~1/3 sugar and all the basil in a food processor and blitz until the basil and sugar are completely combined into some delicious smelling bright green sugar.
- Place the strawberries, sugar (both the plain and basil sugar) and the lemon juice into a large, heavy bottomed pan and cover with a tea towel. Leave over night.
- Place a saucer into the freezer.
- Place the pan over a low-medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved (sugar must be dissolved before bringing it to the boil).
- Bring to the boil and boil hard for 5 – 10 minutes or until the jam reaches 105°C (I find a digital thermometer really useful here). Be careful not to burn yourself. Scoop any scum off of the top, this is purely for aesthetic reasons. Turn off the heat.
- Once the jam reaches 105°C spoon a little jam onto the cold saucer and pop it back into the freezer briefly. Run your finger along the jam, if it crinkles instead of flooding the gap then it will set. If not, turn the heat up and boil it for a couple of minutes more and repeat.
- Leave the jam to settle for 15 minutes and sterilise your jars. I usually sterilise my jars in the oven whilst my jam is cooking. Line your jars up and ladle the jam into your jars.
- Put the lid on them and leave them to set. Store for up to a year, it’ll be long gone by then though!