We are lucky here because there are strawberry farms in the district. In the picking season which starts mid-winter, I can pick up seconds for about a 1/4 the price of the market quality strawberries. There's little wrong with them - a few marks, misshapen and maybe a little under ripe, but fine for jam.
- 1kg strawberries
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1kg sugar (approx)
- Rinse the fruit to remove bits of sand, straw and dead leaves and strain in a colandar
- remove the stems and chop the fruit - small fruit can be halved and larger fruit cut into 3 or more pieces as you like
- weigh the processed fruit and note it down for later
- add the fruit and lemon juice to a large, heavy based pot, allowing enough room to froth up. The fruit should only take up about 1/3 of the space available.
- cover and heat on a low to medium heat, stirring a couple of times until the fruit is mushy
- add the same weight in sugar as you had in fruit in step 3
- stir on the heat until the sugar is dissolved
- continue cooking without a lid and remove scum as it appears
- test for jelling (220oC on a candy thermometer).
- when done, remove from heat and bottle in sterile jars.
If you're hoping for a conserve consistency, don't allow the fruit to boil to mush in step 5. Bring to the boil and add your sugar pretty much straight away so that the fruit retains its shape.