June 2, 2009

Strawberry And Apple Jam

I get really fussy sometimes. Today is one of those times. I wanted to make a 'perfect jam'. Bringing home some beautiful strawberries yesterday and some crispy green apples, the jam's fate was sealed. Strawberry and Apple it is.

I've made this jam before and I adored it's brilliant ruby colour and the tangy taste it left on my palate as opposed to the often sickly sweet associated with some jams. The last one I made didn't jell to the extent I would have liked so I decided to add a small muslin bag together with lemon seeds inside. See; I told you I was feeling fussy. I also had a bowl of water with fresh lemon slices in it and a couple of good squeezes of lemon juice to receive the apples slices as I cut them so as to avoid any browning whatsoever. Fussy? Sure, but it worked and I was glad I did. You can decide how fussy you would like to be.

Once today is over I shall have my first preserve ready for the show. You see our local agricultural show is on at the end of June and my family always goes through the chaos, fun, pain, effort and joy at participating and competing on some level. Hubby always has his amazing produce entered (thanks to The Borb and I). The Borb takes ages carefully selecting and picking the top quality fruit whilst I spend ages washing and polishing the fruit before painstakingly arranging it in the little cane baskets. Hubby simply walks up to the pavillion and walks away with the ribbons and prize money whilst we shake our heads without any credit at all. But we love it.

Photographic daughter has entered her photographic works for the last two years and has had astounding success. Really. I'm not just saying that. Last year, she entered seven categories and she won four firsts, one second and one third. It goes without saying she took the coveted purple grand champion ribbon. Oh my; I was bursting with pride.

I always enter something in the cake section; and I am happy to say I usually come away with a couple of ribbons. I'll talk more about this as the show gets closer. But for now, let's concentrate on the preserves. I have some tomatoes that are sitting, trying to ripen; emphasis on "trying". So instead of the tomato relish I was meant to be doing, strawberry and apple jam is first off the rank.

Strawberry and Apple Jam

500gm strawberries
3 medium green apples
1/4 cup lemon juice
1kg white or caster sugar
extra lemon

Hull and halve the strawberries. Cut out bruised spots and do not use any that are too ripe. Set aside in a clean bowl.

Get some lemons; if you're fortunate enough to have a tree, pick them straight from the tree as the pectin content will be at it's highest. Select lemons that are slightly underripe. You will get the best possible jelling results doing this.

Squeeze a whole lemon into a big bowl of water; peel and quarter the green apples; remove seeds and core; slice thinly. Place the apple slices straight into the lemon water.

Take some muslin fabric and cut out a small square. You only need enough to hold the pips from a couple of lemons.

Take a clean bowl; pour in some boiling hot water and place your muslin square into the water. This is the next best step to sterilising the cloth.

Squeeze a couple of lemons and reserve the juice.

Line a small bowl with the well rinsed muslin square and place all the lemon pips you can extract from the lemons.

Secure the pips well and tie a knot with some twine to create a small muslin bag.

In a heavy based pan place the strawberries, drained apples, muslin bag, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and three cups of water. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until the apples have softened. Take out muslin bag; pour the sugar into the centre of the pot; stir gently till the sugar has dissolved then boil steadily for about 30 minutes or till the jam has set. I place a saucer in the freezer and test the jam by dropping a little onto the saucer; then pressing to see how wrinkled it looks. If it is quite runny then more cooking is required.

I was delighted with the jell consistency of my jam. Although it looks like it is quite runny and I'm thinking it will never take, it somehow magically all comes together. Patience and watching the pot are critical ingredients for jam making.

It is important to allow the jam to sit for about 10 minutes before pouring into sterilized jars. You risk the fruit sinking to the bottom if you pour it in right away. Make sure that any scum has been removed. You will find scum always rises to the top and moves to the sides of the pot so it is easy to spoon off. I use the pictured ladle to fill the jam jars. Seal while hot.

I quickly whipped up my scone recipe (this time I didn't forget the butter); beat some thickened cream and enjoyed the fruits of my "fussy" labour. And boy was it worth it!

So is my Strawberry and Apple Jam worthy of a ribbon? Only time will tell.


  1. Hey, lovely lady, those divine-looking jams certainly look like prize winners to me. It must be your week, as I have a little award for you all waiting to be picked up over at Licked Spoon Mansions...

  2. I very much agree with comment no:- 1
    I will give it a go when my strawberries start fruiting they are slow this year
    It looks yummy!!!

  3. Oh no..slurp slurp drool drool....I have to try this one...slurp slurp. My pantry will "overfloweth" if you keep presenting these delights. I have to try it..to taste it... just to prove once again that you got it right :-) I'm not sure what gets to me first....the photo of the jam in the jar looking so bright and inviting or the photo where it oozes out from under the cream. slurp slurp. You sold me. You are so kind to share your recipes. Thank you.

  4. Those strawberries (and your jam!) look so good... I don't think those strawberries would have lasted long enough around here to make into jam. Good luck getting ready for your local show.

  5. Gosh Debora - I don't know what to say. I was hoping for a ribbon - not an award! How very sweet of you; I feel really touched and thank you for your lovely acknowledgement but mostly thank you for your interest and your ongoing support since we first made that "blogging" connection. Cheers and here's to all the stories, recipes and adventures ahead for us in our "on-screen" journey.

    Awww - aren't you sweet jorgen. Tar very much and good luck with your jam making. Home grown strawberries; you are one up on me with those.

    You are constantly making me fall off my computer chair with laughter Linda. Such high praise; I fear that I cannot keep this up; so I hope you don't desert me when I don't live up to your expectations. So kind of you to appreciate and acknowledge my recipes. It's the nicest validation and it makes it all worthwhile.

    Thanks ChildotNF. They were perfect strawberries; good spotting. And good luck I will need if I am to get through the culinary challenges leading up to the show.

    1. Can I ask if you use the lemon water from the apples for the 3 cups of water in jam?

  6. So interesting about the lemon pits--aren't they bitter? Gorgeous jam!

  7. WOW!! Thanks for all the photos. They are wonderful. The jam also sounds and LOOKS incredible. I will definitely have to try it. I would like one of your scones, please.


  8. Mariana - You are so welcome! It's a very small thank you for all of the pleasure your blog has given me in the past few weeks. I love seeing what you're up to! Have a lovely weekend.

  9. You are amazing how do you know all this stuff????????? I have made heaps of jam but never knew about the lemon seeds great tip thanks. The fruit trees here are laden at times of the year so this will be great and must say I am not a strawberry jam fan but can tell you now I am of yours without even tasting it!! Great page....again!

  10. The lemon pips help with the pectin, unconfidential cook. Although bitter, they are discarded before the sugar is added.

    I'd be happy for you to have one of my scones Ginger, but I'm afraid I don't want a hole in my computer screen. Hehehe. I'd love to hear how you get on with the recipe if you do try it.

    Debora - I am having a lovely weekend, made all the nicer with you having dropped by.

    I love how you think I'm so "amazing" dear stormy, but truth is anyone who is into making preserves or jams would probably know this. It's usually recommended in most jam making recipe books; and yep; that's where I got this stuff.
    So pleased you dropped in. Next time you are in Australia, make sure you really drop in and I shall try and make you change your mind about strawberry jam.

  11. Just wanted to say thank you for this...inspired me to 'have a go'. I made my first batch of jam today. It is devine! A question...when you have added the sugar, do you boil with the lid on or the lid off for 30 minutes? Does it make any difference?


  12. This looks amazing :) I have made a strawberry apple pie before, and was so happy to find that someone had made a jam with the same ingredients.

    I know very little about making jams and canning though, so I'd like to know, do I fill these to the top, or leave 1/4"? Do I have to put the lids on right away, or should I wait? Do I refrigerate them, or can I keep them in a cupboard until I open them? And lastly, how long are they good for?

    Thanks so much :)

  13. Hi, Can i please ask how much jam this made? I'm currently making Jam for my wedding for presents and I was actually going to make a Strawberry and Apply Jam!

  14. I just found this recipe on your blog and made it this afternoon, your directions were absolutely perfect (though I left out the lemon pips) and the jam is divine. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  15. Just tried it and it turned out amazing and tastes sooo good. I added more apple as I wanted a bigger batch (for xmas presents). I went with the 1:1 ratio for sugar to fruit, I had 1.5 kg of fruit after using up my apples :) I also cheated cause I'm lazy and didn't put in the pips. Made about 10 smaller jars with 1.5 kgs of fruit. Thickened really nice too!

    1. Sounds like your own twists have produced a nice jam for you Kaela Food. Thanks for letting me know.

  16. I used the lemon water from the apples in the recipe an omg this was brilliant! I have already had to hand ove 4 jars! Thank you for a lovely recipe!

  17. Hi! I made this last week and it came out great! Would I be able to add cinnamon next time to this recipe? If so, at which point do I add it? Thanks!!