My Grandma Kath is renowned for her jams and sauces. She was a creative woman, with an infectious laugh, and a giant heart. She gardened her whole life, and fed her family through depression and war.
Famously she would turn the first few raspberries or strawberries of the season into jam... A saucer full of jam was all she needed to feel like summer was officially here.
This is her recipe for strawberry jam.... And my modern take on it which I use as a strawberry sauce.... For waffles. She died a few years ago, and since then it has been far more important to remember what she stood for. Jam is the easiest way to remember her.
Step 1: Method
Grandmas super traditional method was easy....
Pick your raspberries.
Add the same weight in sugar.
Boil in a thick bottomed pot until the back of your wooden spoon is coated, and you can draw a line that sticks in the liquid on the back of the spoon.
Pour into a saucer.
Cook toast or pikelets.
Eat whilst giggling.
Strawberry jam was a little harder.... Do the same as above.... Only add 3 lemon pips to the process. Use a potato masher to crush the strawberries when the sugar is melted. Remove the pips when you pour onto the saucer. The lemon pips have pectin which help the jam set. Raspberries produce their own pectin so don't need the pips. Looking back, she was clearly quite the scientist.
I find her jam to be too sweet for my modern palate, and a little too thick.... And science has come to the party as well.
Pick your strawberries from the garden, as well as a few sprigs of mint, and a lemon.
Cut the strawberries into the same size chunks (as mine never grow evenly in size).
Add your strawberries to a pot, and sprinkle with jam setting sugar. This has pectin added to be completely idiot proof. Stir to combine. As the sugar changes to a red colour and the strawberries begin releasing their juice, add 3 lemon pips (for old time sake) and a squeeze of lemon juice. This just helps to thin the jam a little, reduce the sweetness, and makes the jam far easier to use as a waffle sauce.
Chop the mint finely and throw that in the pot. Crack some fresh black pepper into the sauce. This makes the strawberries seem more strawberry-y. Lightly crush the strawberries with a potato masher.
Boil over a medium heat until you have a rolling boil. Prepare a small jar (sterilise this in the way you prefer)... And a ramekin. I have cute little ramekins with lids which are perfect for jam... Pour the boiling jam into the jar, and the excess into the ramekin. This is the jam for right now....
I like to cook a nice piece of toast for my jam. Pikelets are great also. The jam will be runnier than a traditional sticky jam, and less sweet. Perfect as a strawberry sauce on waffles.