Elderflower and strawberry jam

Making your own preserves is a very satisfying thing to do. Those pretty rows of little jars full of homemade goodness make me feel very pleased with myself! It’s always good to try and ring the changes and, although strawberry jam is a huge family favourite, I thought the addition of elderflower sounded fun.

Ingredients:

  • 2kg (4lbs) strawberries
  • 2kg (4lbs) preserving sugar
  • Juice from three lemons
  • 8 large elderflower heads

Method:

Prepare some sterilised jam jars, either in the oven, or in a dishwasher, or you can microwave a jar (leave slightly damp) for about 45 seconds. I always buy new lids and greaseproof covers as that way I am sure they are bacteria free. Also, put an ordinary saucer in the freezer so that it’s ready to use for jam testing later in the cooking process.

Prepare some sterilised jam jars, either in the oven, or in a dishwasher, or you can microwave a jar (leave slightly damp) for about 45 seconds. I always buy new lids and greaseproof covers as that way I am sure they are bacteria free. Also, put an ordinary saucer in the freezer so that it’s ready to use for jam testing later in the cooking process.

To intensify the strawberry flavour, prepare the berries and put them in your preserving pan (or large saucepan) add the sugar and lemon juice and leave (covered) overnight.

Now start to heat them slowly and add the elderflowers. This should be done by first shaking the flowers (adding creepy crawlies to jam really isn’t a good thing) and then picking off the flowers and add to the strawberry mix.

Stir well and bring to the boil for about 5 minutes. Skim off the scum that may form on the surface.

If you have a sugar thermometer then boil until it reaches 105ºC and then test a small spoonful on the cold saucer. Place the test spoonful and saucer in the fridge and within 5 minutes it should have formed a skin that wrinkles when you push it. If this doesn’t happen then boil again for another couple of minutes and try again.

Once you are happy that it has reaching the setting point, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes and fill the sterilised jars.

This is particularly nice with scones and Devon clotted cream – me biased, not a chance!

11 Comments
11 replies
  1. James says:

    Sounds good Joanna
    I love making my own preserves like my late Grandma. Strawberry Jam and procecco is good too!
    Blueberry is one my favourites though.

    Reply
    • Joanna Sheen says:

      Thanks James! Funny you should mention prosecco… I will be blogging about that in the next week or so! Smiles, Joanna

      Reply
  2. janet says:

    Um -10 degree centigrade? Sounds a bit cool!! I usually go for about 110!!! I agree that jam made by leaving with sugar overnight gives alovely colour and quicker boiling time. Just made 10 jars (but not elderflower – don’t like it!).

    Reply
  3. Faith A says:

    ANYTHING elderflower for me, love it with gooseberries too, made my own squash with it once. Thank you for the recipe, with clotted cream – sounds heaven.

    Reply
  4. Jan Richardson says:

    Good morning Joanna well I followed the strawberry & elderflower jam recipe to the letter but my jam will not set IS my only option boil again with added pectin or have you any other ideas.? ..Jan x

    Reply
    • Joanna Sheen says:

      Hi Jan, It’s really important that the boiling reaches at least 104 degrees… so reboiling might be the only option. I didn’t add any pectin on this one, but the temperature is crucial. Hope this helps! Joanna

      Reply

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