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Welcome to My Modern Diary, an electronic journal filled with tales of nostalgic cuisine, wistful wanderings & personal recollections by Sarah Orman.

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam


Back in May when our good friends from England came to visit, we spent a hot and sticky Sunday morning in the strawberry patch at Swann Farms.

Despite being the only you-pick farm open for picking, Swann Farms had a plentiful supply of sweet, ripe berries and so with the glorious sun our backs we got to work filling two large boxes {and one little belly!} full of yummy goodness.

Our goal was simply to collect enough strawberries for my husband to make his favorite; homemade strawberry cheesecake, however, with such an abundance of good crop ripe for the picking one could say we got a little carried away!

One delicious cheesecake later and a emotional farewell after our friends headed back across the pond, hubby and I were left with a ridiculous number of delicious ready-to-eat strawberries.

Freshly picked berries have a relatively short shelf-life and so when life gives you strawberries, make strawberry jam : )

Strawberry Jam
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Sarah Orman
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 1/5 L jars
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups granulated or caster {superfine} sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  1. Wipe the strawberries with a damp cloth, hull and pat dry {I avoid washing the strawberries as excess water can change the consistency of the jam}.
  2. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  3. Slice the strawberries in half and add to the sugary, lemony liquid.
  4. Gently crush the fruit if you prefer a smoother jam {I like big pieces of strawberry in mine so I typically skip this part}.
  5. Stir the contents of the saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil.
  7. Continue to boil until the mixture reaches 220°F {105 °C} on a sugar thermometer. Be sure to stir the mixture often.
  8. When the desired temperature has been reached {the consistency will be sticky and jam-like} transfer to hot sterile jars leaving approximately 1/4 inch of space at the top. {I like 1/5 L Weck jars; they are a great size for gifts!}
  9. Seal the jars and process in a water bath, this ensures the jam has a much longer shelf life.

 A couple of helpful notes...

To sterilize the jars, wash them thoroughly using warm water and washing-up liquid. Rinse clean. Arrange the jars on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching one another. Place inside a pre-heated oven {140°C/210°F/Gas Mark 1} for 15-20 minutes.

To test the readiness of the jam, place a small plate in the freezer before you begin cooking. After approximately 10 minutes of boiling, place a spoonful of the strawberry mixture on the cold plate. Return to the freezer for a minute. After removing the plate, run your finger through the jam… if you can successfully make a line through it without the mixture running back together, it's ready!

A water bath sounds way more complicated than it really is. Simply place the sealed jars in a large pot full of boiling water for ten minutes. Be sure to cover the jars completely with water. I also use a kitchen towel on the bottom of the pot, this helps to keep them in place and helps to avoid overheating the base of the jars.

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