Strawberry Jam

To make about 1kg (2lb) jam

1.15kg strawberries, hulled and washed
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
1kg sugar

Place the strawberries in a jam-pan or other large saucepan, and chop lightly if they're big. Sprinkle the lemon juice over, then cook gently over a low heat for about 30 minutes until the fruit is very soft, stirring occasionally.

Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is fully dissolved, then turn up the heat and boil until the setting stage is reached, stirring occasionally - this takes around 15-20 minutes but depends partly on the temperature of the hob.

Leave to cool for about ten minutes, then put in hot clean jars and seal.

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Note that this really does need a LARGE pan. After the sugar has been added, the jam gradually creeps higher and higher in the pan as it boils, and is in danger of boiling over unless there is a lot of room.

To test whether the jam has set, put a few drops on a cold plate, leave for a minute, then push your finger gently over the surface. If it's still runny, then it needs more boiling. If it's set, the blob of jam should feel slightly different, and will wrinkle a little as you push your finger over it. Don't leave it too long, however, or the jam will start to burn on the bottom of the pan.

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