I like this with some bits of strawberry in, but you can easily decide that you want it all smooth. It is also incredibly easy to make with just this small amount of strawberries; it’s not necessary to make a supply for the whole year and the whole neighbourhood — although wouldn’t that be nice? This is great dolloped onto crumpets or home-made white or brown bread and can also be used to sandwich together a simple sponge. I love it spooned into tiny sweet tart cases with another miniature dollop of double cream on the top. I always try to find small strawberries, which I think have more flavour than those large ones. You can make raspberry jam like this, too (and pass it through a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds).
Quarter the strawberries, or cut them up even smaller if they are large. Put them in a non-aluminium bowl and add the sugar and lemon juice. Toss them around to distribute everything evenly. Cover and leave them overnight in the fridge to draw out the juices.
Sterilize your jars for when you have a panful of hot jam ready to bottle. It is always best to use several small jars, rather than one or two big ones. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water, or in the dishwasher, and rinse well in hot water. Then put the jars (and the lids) on a baking tray and leave in a 120°C (235°F/Gas ½) oven for at least 20 minutes, or until you are ready to use them. (Don’t use a tea towel to dry them — they should dry thoroughly in the oven.)
Drain off all the liquid from the strawberries into a large heavy-based jam pan. Add half the strawberries and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until thickened. Purée until smooth, then add the rest of the strawberries and bring back to the boil. Simmer over low heat for 10–15 minutes more, and then test if the jam is ready by dropping
Spoon into the warm sterilized jars and close the lids tightly. Turn the jars upside down, cover with a tea towel and leave to completely cool (this creates a vacuum that can be seen on the lid). Turn upright and store in a cool dark place. The jam will keep for about 6 weeks before it is opened. After opening, you need to keep it in the fridge and use it up fairly quickly.
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