Friday, July 04, 2008

WTSIM: Tied with a string (strawberry jam / aardbeienjam)

Waiter, there is something berried under my paper hat... and why is that? Because this is another round of Waiter There's Something In My... Berries hosted by Cooksister. Strawberry jam was on my mind when we picked our baskets of strawberries.
The Christine Ferber recipe I used is languishly spread over three days, but the work is minimal and I think it's perfect for the days when that fruit on the counter is to be used right now, but you can't find the time to actually do anything with it. The moment the fruit is mixed with sugar and lemon juice it's safe from spoiling and macerating the fruit does extract a lot of yummy juices. Loved this method.

(Source: Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber)

1kg strawberry (net)
800g granulated sugar (I used less, around 600 grams)
Juice of 1 small lemon (I used more, 1.1/2 large lemon)
5 fresh mint leaves
5 black peppercorns, freshly ground

Day 1. Rinse the strawberries under cold water. Quickly towel them dry and hull them. Hulling strawberries after you wash them saves them from absorbing water but you knew that right?). I halved the small ones, quartered the really big ones and left the really small ones whole.

In a ceramic bowl, mix strawberries with lemon juice and sugar, stir to combine, cover with parchment paper and let macerate overnight in a cool place or in the fridge.

On Day 2 Tip strawberry mixture in a large pan, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering pour the mixture right back into the dish, again cover with parchment paper, and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.

Day 3 Prepare your jars by washing them and their lids thoroughly, fill and soak them in boiling hot water for around 10 minutes and leave to dry upside down on a clean towel. Pour the mixture through a sieve, and bring the syrup to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until your thermometer reaches 105C (221F). If you wish you could skim the foam on the surface, I don't.

Add strawberries, mint and pepper.

Boil again for another 5 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Test to see if the jam is firm enough by putting a drop of jam on a saucer that has been in the freezer. If it wrinkles when you push with a careful finger it's done. Or, you could tilt the saucer to see if the jam sets. Proceed boiling until the jam reaches the desired consistency.

Pour the jam into the jars until almost full, wiping off any spilled jam with a clean cloth. Close the lids. Set upside down for 10 minutes and let cool completely before storing in a cool and dark place.Strawberry recipes:
- strawberry meringue cake
- strawberry mirror cake
- strawberry mango jam
- peanutbutter-jelly cookies


  1. My toast is ready. Bring on the strawberry jam!! Looks divine Karen!

  2. Love the strawberry jam and a great tutorial. It feels so good to put jars of jam that you make yourself away.

  3. Thanks for the great jam-making lesson. It's one of those things I always mean to do but chicken out at the last minute - I think it's fear of not sterilising the jars properly and poisoning people that gets me ;-) This looks fantastic and very berry-ish as a good jam should be.

    En dank u wel vir u deelname in WTSIM hierdie maand!

  4. I'm scared of making jams as well because of the need for sterilization. It's so intimidating but hope to try it soon.


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