Strawberry jam in 20 minutes. That’s quicker than walking up to the shops and back. That’s quicker than it takes to heat up the croissants. That’s about the same time it takes to heat the kettle, inform mum and dad they’re having breakfast in bed this weekend then wait for the shock to subside.
2 punnets strawberries
3 tbsp lemon juice
1½ cups sugar
2-3 sterilised jars
Ten-year-old Nicholas carefully pens some words on a white sticker and peels off its backing. He lines up the ruby-red jar and sticks on its new label: “Nicky’s jam.” While not entirely clear whether the new label is a proud declaration or a warning to family members to stay well away, it’s a well-deserved label for this sticky preserve. Lucky he made extra for everybody else.
Wash the strawberries and hull using a small knife. Place in a large microwave-proof bowl with the lemon juice. Cook on high for three minutes. Add the sugar, stir the mixture and cook for another 20 minutes on high. Watch the mixture to make sure it’s not overflowing. Test the jam by dropping a little on a cold saucer; it should jell slightly. If it’s not ready, cook for another five minutes. Give the jam a gentle stir, ensuring the sugar is fully dissolved at the bottom. Being very careful not to touch the hot jam, ladle into hot sterilised jars and seal. Label well with your name, the date and “strawberry jam”. It will keep for up to four weeks in the fridge.