Christmas is just around the corner and Christmas presents are at the forefront of people’s minds. If you’re struggling what to gift to your family members this year, why not take a cue from Kate and give something homemade? A few years ago, it was reported that the Duchess of Cambridge gave strawberry jam and plum preserves out as Christmas presents to family and friends. Below is a recipe from Eating Royally that is easy to follow and will yield jars of Christmas joy this season!
This recipe is from Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances From A Palace Kitchen by Darren McGrady, Private Chef to a Princess Diana
Balmoral Strawberry Jam
*Makes one 12-ounce jar
4 cups strawberries, hulled (not overripe and not washed)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
Begin with sterilizing a 12 ounce jelly jar, screw on top, and lid in boiling water. Remove from the water and turn the lid upside down, allowing it to dry. Keep the jar warm so that it doesn’t crack when you pour in the hot jam.
Cut the strawberries in half and add them to an 8-quart saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla paste. Place the pan over high heat, and stir the strawberries until the sugar starts to dissolve. Bring the jam mixture to rolling boil until the temperature reaches 220°F on a candy thermometer.
Remove the pan from the heat, stir, and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour the jam into the warm jar, place the lid on top, and tighten the screw band. Turn the jar upside down for about 30 minutes and then right side up until it cools completely. This will stop all the berries from sinking to the bottom of the jar. Once the jar is cold, test the lid by pressing the top. If it springs back, it needs to be refrigerated and used within a week. If the lid does not spring back, then the jam will keep for up to one year.
*Remember – don’t put your labels on the jar until the jam has cooled. Otherwise, the glue backing will melt off.
*This homemade jam technique is different from most, since there is no final hot water bath to seal the jar. The heat from the hot jam seals the jar and no further processing is required.