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3 Steps to the Perfect Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

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With the peak of the strawberry season upon us, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the traditionally English and widely loved fruit by making a delicious jam. Strawberry and rhubarb work well together, creating a perfect blend of sweet and sour that makes the duo a favourite in many cafes and tea houses.

People often make the mistake of using second rate fruit that is on its way out, but the taste of your jam depends on the quality of the ingredients you put in. This is why it is always a good idea to use fresh fruit that is in season. And what better time of the year than summer for fresh UK grown produce.

Ingredients
Equipment
500g rhubarb, washed and trimmed
4 medium-sized jars, sterilised
500g strawberries, hulled
900g jam sugar
Juice of ½ lemon

Labels and covers

Step 1

Begin by cutting the rhubarb into short lengths and placing in a preserving pan with the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Cook slowly until the sugar dissolves then bring to the boil, stirring occasionally so that it doesn't stick.
Top Tip: Using fresh, dry and slightly under-ripe fruit will yield the best results; bringing more flavour and improving the quality of the finished product.


Step 2

Boil until the mixture turns into 'jelly' when cold. To test this, put 1/2 tsp on a cold plate and leave for 1 minute, then push it with your finger to test. If it crinkles the jam is set, if it remains runny, continue boiling and check every couple of minutes until done. Over boiling can cause crystallisation – sugar crystals will appear on the surface and throughout the jam, making it gritty and extremely sweet.


Step 3

Leave the jam to rest for 10 minutes, scoop off any scum (trapped air) by stirring in one direction and then fill your preserve jars while the jam is still warm. Put a waxed disc on top (unless you’re using screw top jars) and add a finishing touch by labelling your jars and adding jar covers with bands for an authentic, homemade feel. Storing your jam in a cool, dry place will ensure it lasts for up to 6 months. Serve with scones and clotted cream for the perfect cream tea.
Top Tip: When potting up, fill your jars to brimful when the jam is still over 85°C, this gives the jam time to fully set in the jar.

Before filling your jars, ensure they are extremely clean by placing then in a 100°C oven for 10 minutes prior to filling. This process kills all the germs and bacteria to ensure you get the best jam.

With free next day delivery on orders over £50, it’s easy to make the most of the fruits Britain has to offer this summer and create your very own delicious jams.

By Oscar Black

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