I thought fruit picking would be fun while I was on leave. And then it rained, and then I realised I am a lazy sod and couldn't really be arsed. Plus when I tracked down local fruit picking farms' websites, there seemed to be just too much faff involved: "There has been a bumper crop because of the recent rain and sunshine. However, we had too many people come fruit picking at the weekend so don't bother unless there has been a full moon, your name has an 'x' in it or if you can navigate the orienteering course to get in."
Ok, ok. I'm paraphrasing.
However, the local supermarket was selling strawberries at only £2 for £400g - a bargain I thought. So, I bought a couple of punnets, brought them home to chop up and then boil, whilst mashing them - very therapeutic. (I'm honestly not a violent psychotic, but I think I sometimes may give that impression of myself... violence against fruit, as long as it doesn't escalate I suppose). No water is added to this - the liquid comes from the melting fruit.
Next stage - sugar. I use low pectin preserving sugar because I use the MIL's recipe which is a Danish low-sugar version. Instead if the usual recipes (that I've seen) that require around 3x the amount of sugar to fruit ratio, this has a pectin supplement (Melatin) so you end up using 2/3 of the fruit's weight in sugar. E.g. 1600g fruit needs 1100g sugar.
Once boiled for ten minutes, the next stage is picking the scum of the surface - a finnicky job but it means that your jam won't go off. I've got a jar of blackberry jam I made last September, still in the fridge, and it is still good. No sign of mould and it tastes sweet. I also wonder if this has anything to do with the reduced sugar? (If anyone knows I'd love to hear from you).
And finally, the finished product.