Today we made strawberry jam. I have to say "we" as Tom was briefly involved just at the point where we could argue loudly over whether the jam had reached setting point. I've always been rather scared of making jam. It bubbles away and then you have to work out if it's quite right using either a thermometer (duly bought from Webb's) or a cold plate and the pushing finger technique. Anyway I think it worked. Four jars of jam were produced and I'll be taste testing it at breakfast tomorrow.
The recipe we used was from The New Penguin Cookery Book by Jill Norman. This is a very good book that hides its light under a bushel. It has no fancy pictures and its layout is rather like a technical textbook with coloured headings and lots of sections. But it is full of really very useful information and good recipes which work. It won't set you alight with excitement the way that a book from the Moro crew will but it will answer niggly questions about eggs, or give you a good recipe for clafoutis or madeleines when you're not sure which of your too numerous books can. And if you need any further recommendation all you need to know is that Jill Norman was Elizabeth David's editor at Penguin and is now the Literary Trustee of the David Estate. Her own books have won the Andre Simon award and the Glenfiddich trophy in 1991. She really knows her stuff.
For about 1.4kg
juice of 1 large lemon
Hull the strawberries after washing them, drain well and cut them into pieces. Layer them in a large pan with the sugar, ending with a layer of sugar. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to macerate for 6 hours.
Put the pan over low heat and add half the lemon juice. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir briskly, crushing the fruit with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, then increase the heat, add the rest of the lemon juice and boil for 10-15 minutes. Test for setting as the mixture thickens. Pour the jam into warm, sterilized jars, cover and seal.