Strawberry Jam (with a hint of pepper)

Yesterday I did my usual late night bargain hunting – and was not disappointed! A massive pile of strawberry punnets had just been reduced to 39p (!) a pound. I bought about 6 pounds of strawberries to make some jam – can’t let delicious things go to waste! Of course, I also scoffed a few in the process…

With most jams I usually like them in a relatively runny consistency, so I can use them both as spread and as a sauce for ice cream or puddings. I made this jam with some leftover sugars as I had completely forgotten to buy that as well as the strawberries. Of course you can make jam without any sugar at all, after all the folks from st. dalfour can do it, but when I found some bits and bobs that needed using up (e.g. jam sugar from god knows when), I thought ‘eh, why not?’ I used less sugar than the usual 1:1 ratio. I find this way too sweet and, besides, if i make jam it doesn’t have a chance to go off, even in stupid quantities. So here is what I did:

I cut about 5 pounds of strawberries (as I said, some went missing…) into pieces (removing the green bits, of course!) and let these simmer for quite a long time with the juice of 2 lemons.

When the strawberries looked super-mushy and well-cooked I added roughly half a pound of jam sugar, half a pound of random brown & white sugar mix, about a pound of golden sugar (I did not dare putting the scary molasses sugar in I found in my cupboard which always turns stuff pitch dark). I simmered the jam some more until it had reached the desired setting consistency (did the saucer test -yum!), added some freshly ground pepper (I like a bit of ‘kick’) and filled the whole soup into sterilised jars (10 min oven method, not water method). I also turned the glasses over so that they stand on the lids – FYI I mainly use tomato puree and pickles jars that don’t have writing on them.

This morning, I went to the supermarket to get some fresh poppy seed rolls and fromage frais to indulge in the most decadent breakfast in a long time!

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