Strawberries are crazy cheap in Sydney at the moment!
I grew up in Asia, where we did not have access to any of the colder climate fruits (think berries, peaches, nectarines...). We could eat all the mango, honeydew melon, and coconut we wanted - but berries were not an option. No, berries were the things of fairy tales, the things you ate once you'd travelled the long journey home to the far-off land of Australia. As a result some part of my brain still thinks of strawberries as an incredibly luxurious fruit, bought only in small proportions for special occasions. I've been back in Sydney for twelve years already and I still can't shake the feeling that turning a whole bowlful of beautiful fresh strawberries into a little jar of jam is doing them an injustice!
But it isn't! Because when the strawberries cost less than a jar of store bought jam, and the jam tastes this good - justice is served in the berry kingdom. This jam is thick, sweet and caramel-ly and would make a great spread for some sourdough toast, but should probably be eaten with whipped cream on some lemonade scones.
500g roughly chopped strawberries.
250g caster sugar
2Tbs dried rose petals
1. Remove the kitten from the table and check meticulously that he has not shed anywhere near your food.
2. Put a small plate/saucer in the freezer. You'll need this later to test if the jam has set.
3. Roughly hull and chop the strawberries. (Would this be the right time to rave about my new global knife?! Yes, I own one, but only because I have an incredible friend who knows me well enough to know that I want a new knife instead of a necklace for my birthday.)
4. Place the strawberries in a pot and add the caster sugar. Toss to combine - you don't want large clumps of sugar in the bottom of the pot or it will catch and burn when placed on the heat.
5. Place on the heat and stir continuously for the first few minutes, until all the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries start to break down. Bring it to the boil and stir every few minutes.
6. When the mixture is boiling, use a desert spoon to skim off any excess froth that is floating on the top - this will make for a clearer jam when you're done.
7. After about 20 minutes, test your jam by placing a teaspoon of it on the chilled saucer. Wait for a minute or two until the jam has completely cooled and touch it lightly with your finger. When it's ready, it shouldn't stick to your finger.
8. Once it has passed this test, add in the rose petals, rosewater and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly and allow to cook for another 2 minutes.
9. Remove the pan from the heat and let it settle. Transfer it into a sterilised jar or container and seal it tightly until it is completely cooled.