Faced with a glut of strawberries and not quite sure what to do with all of this fruit? This strawberry and elderflower jam is gorgeously delicate and floral and so easy to make! If you love jam and want a foolproof jam, this is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
This jam was inspired by a recent trip to the markets where punnets of beautiful ruby red strawberries were just $1. Unable to resist a bargain I ended up buying 6 punnets of them. "I don't even like strawberries" protested Mr NQN. "Shhh I'll make something out of them," with more certainty than I felt.
This strawberry and elderflower jam recipe came about in a roundabout way. For years I wanted to try to make freezer jam. A recipe did the round on American blogs and someone I knew asked me if I had ever tried it. It required liquid pectin which we don't really have here (I'm pretty sure it was popularised by Kraft who sells liquid pectin in America). I didn't want to make a whole lot because to me freezer jam was sort of a strange concept. Why would I keep jam in the freezer when the whole purpose of jam is to preserve something so you can keep it in the pantry or easily give it as gifts. I also don't have a huge freezer and it's already full of random things so I didn't want jars of jam in there.
Nevertheless with my punnets of strawberries I made one small batch of freezer jam. It required A LOT of sugar. Like double the amount of sugar for the weight of fruit which didn't overly thrill me. I also couldn't get freezer jam to work for me. It was a pain in the bottom, required a lot of stirring and then even then the sugar would not dissolve so I ended up having to boil it (it was described as a "no cook" jam). The result was a super thick, super sweet, tacky textured jam with tiny, indistinguishable pieces of fruit and a lot of liquid that just wasn't to my taste. I like less sweet, looser set jams that you can easily spoon into cream and scones with big chunks of fruit.
Undeterred I still really wanted to make a really easy strawberry jam recipe especially since I still had so many berries. If you want the make jam the easiest way possible give this microwave jam a go. It's all done in one bowl, practically takes care of itself while you get on with doing something else.
But it couldn't just be straight strawberry jam. When I went to my pantry to grab some vanilla, a bottle winked at me (I swear sometimes things do that and yes I am crazy so yeah). It was a bottle of St Germain, a divine elderflower liqueur. So I bypassed the vanilla and added a few tablespoons of St Germain at the end and honestly it made this jam incredibly fragrant and gorgeous. I was even tempted to go back and buy more fruit to make more jam! ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you feel that things just sort of wink at you demanding your attention? Have you ever tried making freezer jam? How do you like your jam?
Strawberry & Elderflower Jam
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Degree of difficulty: very easy
Makes 3 jars
- 1kg/2.2lbs strawberries
- 1 1/3 cups caster or superfine sugar
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 150mls/5flozs. St Germain elderflower liqueur (or use elderflower cordial if you want it non alcoholic)
- 3 x 400g/14oz. jars
Step 1 - Wash and hull the strawberries and cut medium sized ones in half and large ones in quarters. Place in a bowl with the sugar and lemon juice and stir until the sugar is mixed through.
Step 2 - Heat the bowl of strawberries in the microwave for 3 minutes on 100% power. Carefully remove from microwave and stir and then heat for 10 minutes on 100%.
After 3 minutes
After 10 minutes
Step 3 - While it is cooking, sterilise the jars (make sure no rubber seals darlings!) by placing them in a 180C/350F oven for 10 minutes. Keep in oven while jam is cooking-the jars must be hot when the hot jam is ladled into them or the glass will break and that is annoying because broken glass ruins a jam party.
After another 3 minutes
Step 4 - Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave (it will be very hot) and stir it and check the texture. Keep cooking for 3 minute intervals until it starts to thicken to a lightly syrupy texture (it thickens more on cooling).
Adding the St Germain
Step 5 - When the jam is done add the St Germain and while it is hot, ladle it into the hot jars. With a clean, damp paper towel wipe down the lip of the jar. With a teatowel place the lids on tight and then turn upside down and allow to cool. When cool, the button should be pressed down and the jam is sealed. You can also take the step of canning the jars by boiling them in water too.