A new season of Strawberries usually heralds a new crop of Strawberry Jam Recipes in print and online.

This year, I’ve been drawn to two recipes to review one from wartime and the other from Waitrose Weekend Newspaper. The first, is so good I can’t make enough of it, the second, provided the inspiration to adapt one of my favourite Strawberry Jam Recipes into a Merry Strawberry Jam.

Kitchen Front Strawberry Jam

Marguerite Patten, who died earlier this month aged 99 was a prolific cookery writer, and preserves featured in her books, notably “Jams, Preserves and Chutneys Handbook.”

During the Second World War, Marguerite contributed recipes to the Ministry of Food’s “Kitchen Front ” radio programme. Listeners were given recipes to help manage food shortages and rationing. During a search through my archive of recipes for jam, I found a ‘Kitchen Front’ Strawberry Jam. The fruit has to be very fresh, crushed and soaked in layers of sugar and lemon juice and left in a pan for 45 minutes. The mixture is slowly brought to the boil and boiled rapidly for a matter of minutes. I’ve made the recipe a few times and the colour, consistency and flavour of the jam is excellent.

Strawberry and Fruit Cup Jam

Waitrose Weekend, the issue for 25th June 2015, included a recipe for a Strawberry Jam combined with Heston’s Fruit Cup. The proportions of fruit to sugar in the recipe is different to the ones I use.

The Strawberry and Fruit Cup Jam recipe gave me the idea to try adding fruit spirit to a traditional Strawberry Jam recipe. Last year, I made batches of Raspberry and Fruit Wine Jam using Raspberry and Red Currant wine from Cairn O’Mohr in Perthshire and the jam was good.

Merry Strawberry Jam

Makes about 2.2kg

1.4kg hulled strawberries
225ml pectin stock ( red currant or gooseberry juice )
1.4kg granulated cane sugar
65ml Heston’s Fruit Cup or a soft fruit wine

1) Make the pectin stock by simmering 500g of gooseberries or 750g of red currants in 450ml water. Once the fruit is pulpy, strain it into a bowl through a sieve lined with muslin. Measure the juice. Keep 225ml for the recipe and freeze any that is left over.

2) Put the fruit and stock into a large preserving pan. Simmer until the fruit softens and the contents of the pan reduced by one-third. Meanwhile, warm the sugar in an ovenproof bowl in a low oven, 140C for 15 minutes.

3) Add the sugar to the preserving pan and stir until it has dissolved. Bring the jam to a rolling boil and boil hard. Test for a set after 5-7 minutes using the flake test. Take a spoonful of the jam out of the pan, hold the spoon over the pan and turn it sideways. As the jam slides down, it should suspend on the side of the spoon. As soon as setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

4) Meanwhile place clean jars in the oven to warm through. Push any scum from the surface of the pan to the side and remove. Add the Fruit Cup or Fruit Wine. Gently stir the jam and pour it into the jars, up to the brim. Seal immediately with new twist-top lids. Leave the jars upright and undisturbed to cool and set.

Links

Cairn O’Mohr

For more Jam Recipes

The Home Front

Waitrose Fruit cup

Strawberries for jam