As a true English girl I absolutely love afternoon tea (though I’m more of a coffee girl over tea). Nothing beats having some amazing cakes, or the little triangle sandwiches you get in tea rooms on a fancy china cake stand! But best of all? Scones, jam and cream!!! Now don’t get me wrong I love a good scone but I only ever have them as a treat once every so often – we had an American exchange student once who generally thought English people have afternoon tea everyday which I can assure people everywhere we definitely do not (well the normal ones don’t…), I’m pretty sure I’d be morbidly obese or hospitalised if I indulged everyday! But saying that I really do love afternoon tea and there’s nothing better than doing it yourself, so let’s start with the basics – JAM! Here’s my Mum’s famous recipe…
♥ Strawberry Jam ♥
This recipe makes about 1 1/2kg or 3 1/4lb and makes between 4 to 6 jars (depending on their size)
- Heavy based 4.5lt (8pt) saucepan
- 4-6 sterilised jars (see Step 9)
- 800g (1 3/4lb) fresh strawberries (NB: you can use frozen fruit but defrost it first)
- 1kg Jam sugar
- a knob of unsalted butter
- Take your strawberries and cut them into quite small pieces, removing the stalks, then put them all in the saucepan.
- Put on a low heat so the fruit starts to become more of a mushy purée, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Add all of the jam sugar and continue to simmer on a low heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved (use the back of the spoon to see if there are any sugar granules left and scrap it around the bottom of the pan to see if you can feel any).
- Once completely dissolved add a knob of butter.
- Bring the heat up slowly until it starts a rolling boil – it’ll start to bubble vigorously, rising up the pan and can’t be stirred down again.
- Boil the mixture like this for 4 minutes.
- After 4mins a layer of white-coloured scum will form on top, remove using a spoon and throw away.
- Once done remove it from the heat and leave it to cool.
- Meanwhile sterilise the jars. Place them on a baking sheet on a tray in the oven preheated to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3 and leave for 10 minutes.
- Once the jars and the jam have cooled pour the jam into the jars (if you have a jar funnel use it!) and place waxed jam discs on the top before sealing with the lids. IMPORTANT: make sure the jam and the jars are the same temperature when you put the jam in, if one is too hot and the other cold the glass jars will crack!
- Leave the jam to solidify before using – if it’s still runny after a few hours repeat Steps 4 – 7 again.
This recipe can be used for strawberry, raspberry, tayberry or loganberry jam and will keep in a cool place for several months if left unopened with a wax seal. All you need now is the scones and cream! Or better yet spread it in a cake or just on some toast 😉
Give it try and let me know how you get on!