Extra time:1hour ›
- Wash and sterilise jam jars. You can sterilise jars either by heating them in a large pan of water to at least 80 degrees C for 5 minutes, placing them in an oven set to 100 degrees C for 30 minutes or in the dishwasher if yours has a cycle that goes above 80 degrees C. Set the jars aside to air dry, taking care not to touch inside or the rims.
- Check through the berries and remove any stalks, leaves or flowers. Place the berries in a colander and rinse thoroughly.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and stir. Leave the berries to steep in the sugar mixture for at least 1 hour. This helps the berries to maintain their form in the jam. (You can skip this step if you want a smoother jam.)
- Heat the berry mixture on a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the sugar is completely dissolved, increase the heat until the mixture reaches a rolling boil. Keep the mixture at a rolling boil for around 8 to 10 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface.
- To test if the jam is ready, take the mixture off the heat, and using a teaspoon, drop a small amount on to a cold saucer. Leave for a minute, and then push the edge for the jam drop with the spoon or a finger. If the jam wrinkles as you push it, it is ready. If not, boil for another couple of minutes and repeat the process.
- Once the jam is ready, carefully spoon into the sterilised jars. I fill mine to just below the top, as I find this makes a better seal when using jars with click button lids.
- Screw the lids on tight, wipe the jars down and leave to cool. Once cool, check that the jars are sealed by tapping the button on the lid. If the jar is sealed it will keep for up to a year is a cool, dry, dark place. Any unsealed jars should be kept in the fridge and eaten within a week.
Jam sugar has added pectin, which is needed for making jam with soft fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
A sugar thermometer is extremely useful when jam making. A good one will have the jam setting point marked on it, making it easier to tell when the jam is ready.
This jam definitely gets better with age, if you can resist, lay it away for a couple of months for the flavours to develop.