What you need:
1kg of fresh strawberries (stalks removed)
750g jam sugar
Juice of one lemon
Knob of butter
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Glug of balsamic vinegar (optional)
Step One: Before you do anything else, pop a saucer into the freezer (we’ll use this to test the jam has set).
Step Two: Hull the strawberries, then wipe them clean (avoiding washing them, as it adds extra water to the mix).
Step Three: Put the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice into a large, heavy bottomed pan. Cook slowly and gently, over a low heat, until all the sugar has dissolved (this is important, as it helps the jam set).
Step Four: Bring the jam to the boil, for 5-10 minutes. Take your saucer out of the freezer and put a blob of jam on it. Leave it alone for 30 seconds or so, and then push it with your finger – if it wrinkles, and holds its shape, its ready. If not, cook for another couple of minutes and test again (don’t forget to put the saucer back in the freezer in the mean time).
Step Five: While the jam is cooking, put your clean jam jars onto baking trays, and pop them in a hot oven this will sterilise them.
Step Six: Now is the time to scoop off any froth from the top of the jam. Drop in the knob of butter and stir it in to melt (this helps with any remaining froth you couldn’t scrape off) then stir through your black pepper and balsamic vinegar, if using.
Step Seven: Take the jars out of the oven, and fill carefully with the jam, to just below the rim Put the lid on while the jam is still hot, and once cooled, label your delicious jam, sit back, and feel proud!