Strawberry & Star Anise Jam
It’s the end of the strawberry season, and time to jar up some summer sun for the winter.
I’m a lover of homemade jam with a twist. The combination of strawberries and star anise is delightful. Delicious simply spread on toast and scones or add a dollop to porridge.
If you like jams with a fragrant twist, you might also like to check out my Raspberry with Cardamom Jam recipe which I blogged about around 5 years ago (my, time flies!).
Strawberry & Star Anise Jam
To make about 2kg you will need:
1kg strawberries, hulled
1 kg jam sugar with added pectin
8 – 10 star anise
Juice of ½ lemon
Other things you’ll need:
- You will also need some pre-cut waxed discs to sit on the top of the jam
- Sterlised jars (which you can commence during the end of the jam making process)
- Two side plates kept in the freezer – you will use these to test the jam has set
- Labels and cloth with elastic bands to cover jar tops
- A funnel is useful but not essential, it just helps when pouring jam into jars
- Put prepared strawberries in a large non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle over sugar and squeeze in lemon juice. Gently stir then cover with a tea towel and leave overnight. This helps strawberries to stay whole by reducing the overall cooking time, as the sugar will begin to dissolve in bowl overnight.
- Place strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and star anise into a large heavy based pan. Heat slowly and stir until sugar has dissolved. You can dip a metal spoon into the mixture and when you remove it you shouldn’t see any granules of sugar coating the spoon. (You may see tiny bubbles on your spoon though, don’t mistake this for sugar granules!)
- Turn up heat and boil for 5min. Remove from the heat and to test if it’s reached setting point spoon a little jam on to cold saucer that’s been kept in the freezer. After a couple of min gently push a finger through jam, if surface wrinkles and is set / jelly like it is ready. If not, return to boil for 2-3 min, then re-test.
- Skim and discard any scum. Cool for 10-15min.
- Then pour into clean, dry, hot jars, filling them as near to the top as possible. Straightaway, place a waxed disc over the surface, then seal with a lid. Wipe the jars with a warm, damp cloth
Sterilising your jars:
Wash the jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse, then place on a baking tray in a 170°C to dry completely. Keep them warm until you fill them. But be careful, because sometimes if the jars are too hot, when you pour the hot jam mixture into the jar, it will bubble up like a mini volcano.
If mold develops on the surface of jam in a jar, remove it with a spoon, along with about half an inch (1 cm) of the jam underneath – rest assured, the rest of the jam will not be affected – and place a waxed disc dipped in brandy on top.