Strawberry season in the UK depends on the weather but normally runs from May to August. During the rest of the year they are imported from countries such as Spain. June being the quintessential strawberry month when 27000 kilos of strawberries are eaten during the Wimbledon tennis championships, together with 7,000 litres of cream! The other British classic for this time of year is Pimm's, an English summer drink, that no BBQ would be complete without. Whilst browsing this month's Good Food Magazine I discovered this recipe for Soft-set Strawberry & Pimm's Jam. What better way to combine these two seasonal favourites? The recipe is easy to follow but you will definitely need a preserving thermometer. The jam turned out absolutely divine and everything I expected. This jam will come into it's own on home-baked scones and clotted cream and the other British classic Victoria Sponge Cake.
Soft-set Strawberry & Pimm's Jam
Makes 5 x 450g jars
1.5kg/3lb 5oz strawberries, hulled and halved if large
1kg bag jam sugar (it has added pectin)
juice 2 lemons
juice 1 orange
3 tbsp Pimm's No 1
Put a few saucers into the freezer for later. Put the strawberries into a preserving pan (or your very largest saucepan), then mash roughly with a potato masher, or crush slightly between your fingers and thumbs to make them a little juicy. Stir in the sugar, then put the pan over a very low heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the berries are surrounded with red syrup. Don't let it boil. Once the sugar crystals have gone, stir in the lemon and orange juice.
Turn up the heat. Once the jam reaches a foaming fast boil (this will read 105C on a preserving thermometer), set a timer for 10 mins. After 10 mins, put 1 tsp of jam onto one of the frozen saucers, put into the fridge for 1 min, then push your finger through the jam. If the jam wrinkles, it is ready. If not, boil for another 2 mins and test again. As soon as the jam is ready, remove from the heat. Leave to cool for 30 mins, skim away any scum, then stir in the Pimm's. Ladle into steralised jars.
Will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.