Strawberry Picking is something the Capetonians love come springtime. It is great fun for the whole family and not at all an expensive outing. In my opinion, you just have to pick enough to make delicious strawberry jam as well. I think homemade after all, just tastes better than store-bought.
Keeping in mind that you can eat strawberries in the field while you are picking, it is pretty much a fantastic outing for the kids.
After a day of strawberry picking, you are often left with way more strawberries than you can eat (planned or not). So the perfect solution is to make your own strawberry jam. Just in time for Christmas and those summer afternoon scones or the perfect gift for someone near to your heart.
After our fun day of Strawberry picking at Mooiberge in the Western Cape of South Africa, I made this tried and tested ‘fool-proof’ recipe.
The South African Way
Cuisine: The South African version
Test for setting point of Jam: Put a plate in the refrigerator freezer as you start your cooking time with the jam. Once you think the fruit is soft and ready, pour a bit of jam on the plate (which you’ve taken from the refrigerator) and tilt it vertically. If the jam runs slowly and is no longer runny, it is set and ready to go.
Tip: I like to blitz the jam to a fine consistency with a stick-blender just before I transfer it to the jars. (Just be careful.)
If you sterilize your containers the proper way and make sure that all sugar melts as stated in the recipe above, it can easily last for up to two years. Store in a cool, dry place.
You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to three months after you’ve opened it.
It helps your jam to set. You can use bottled juice, but fresh is always best.