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We all love homemade strawberry jam, so why not give it a bit of a spicy kick with cracked black pepper. This recipe is great for any strawberries you have that might be going bad, so cut down on food waste and make a jar of jam. See method
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Put the strawberries and sugar in a pan, toss to coat, then set aside, shaking the pan occasionally, for at least 4 hrs (or overnight) at room temperature to macerate.
Put a saucer in the freezer. Add the lemon juice and black pepper to the strawberries, then set the pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Avoid stirring as much as possible.
When the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil over a high heat. Keep at a rolling boil, without stirring, for 4-5 mins until it reaches 105°C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat and spoon a little jam onto the cold saucer, set aside for 30 secs, then draw a line through it with your finger: when it’s ready it should wrinkle and not flood to fill the gap. If it’s not ready, boil for another 2 mins, then test again; repeat until ready.
Skim any scum off the top of the jam (the back of a ladle is good for this), then leave for 15 mins to settle and cool a little.
Spoon into sterilised jars*, screw on the lids while still hot, then leave to cool completely at room temperature before wiping down and labelling. Will keep in a cool, dark place for about a year; once open, refrigerate and use within 3 months.
*To sterilise glass jars, wash in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Dry in the oven for 15-20 mins at gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C until hot and completely dry. Boil metal lids and rubber seals for 10 mins, then leave to dry.
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