Strawberry jam epic fail...

26 November, 2013

With the glut of strawberries I have been experiencing of late I had planned to start building up stocks of goodies that fit well into hampers that may come in useful around Christmas time in the type of hamper style gifts that I like to give.

So I decided one way of using up too many strawberries is Strawberry Jam.

Who doesn't like Strawberry Jam. Nobody, because it is fabulous.

So I went into the yard and rounded up a collander full of berries, including some slightly under-ripe ones as these make a slightly better jam. The slightly under-ripe berries are less likely to turn to mush, and I like a few still whole berries in my jam.

The berries were prepared by washing well and then chopping into similar sizes. I am getting a mix of small, medium and large berries.

So I left the baby ones whole, chopped the medium ones in half and anything larger into quarters.

Now my preferred jam making method is in the Thermomix. It is so easy!  I used the basic Strawberry Jam recipe in the book as a base.

500g strawberries
250-300g sugar, or jam making sugar, or added pectin
1 lemon, juiced
As I had slightly more than 500g strawberries, I upped the recipe accordingly.

Now the process is simple in the Thermomix.

I like to blend the sugar with the rind of the lemon, for an extra lemony kick.

This becomes...

... this in mere seconds.

Then take your de-peeled lemons, remove as much white pith as you can and cut into pieces.

Add to Thermomix.


Now I have made Strawberry Jam before, and know the soft fruit needs a little jelling helping hand, so out came the pectin.

I never realised before that this was made by the Fowlers Vacola people. They say 1 sachet for 1.5kg strawberries, so I used half the packet.

Must not forget strawberries.

Cook according to the directions (100 degrees C for 30 minutes, speed 1).


Meanwhile, sterilise your jars. I do this by rinsing clean jars in very hot water, then putting in a 150 degree C oven for at least 10 minutes.

But before you decant your delicious jam into your sterilised jars, get out your secret ingredient. This is mine.

This stuff transforms even a very good Strawberry Jam to amazing heights. Truly. Try it.

I added about 1 tablespoon to my jam batch. Then it went into the jars.

I purposely made some very whole strawberry heavy, and others not so.

Now here comes the bad news. When it was all cool, it was evident that the pectin was not sufficient.

I do not like runny jam!

So I thought either I can put it on the stove and boil it longer where it may, or may not, properly set. Or I can admit defeat and call it Strawberry Sauce.

Strawberry Sauce it is!

Although I did sterilise some proper sauce jars and re-heat the jam in the Thermomix, while also giving it a blend so the sauce would be smooth, and then re-bottle it.

I left the strawberry-full jars as I quite like those.

So in the end, not quite Strawberry Jam, but still very delicious.

The texture of the blended sauce looks quite good.

Not quite what I had planned, but still should make someone happy on Christmas morning.


  1. Ooh - the colour of that just made my mouth water. Would be lovely on ice cream I'm sure.

    1. I hope so. Funnily enough I am not much of a strawberry-sauce-on-ice cream person myself, but I know others who can't get enough of the stuff. Particularly friends with kids.

  2. There can't be anyone alive who hasn't had a pectin fail when jam-making. Either you put too little jamsetta and it's runny or you put too much and need an axe to cut through the gel. Yours looks lovely. It will be a great sauce. Partially melt some ice cream, swirl it through and refreeze.

    Isn't the Thermomix great! Have you tried the ice cream recipe yet?

    1. Yes, I almost (but not quite) dislike too thick jam as much as I dislike too runny jam. I like the idea of the swirl and refreeze!
      The thermomix is fabulous!!! Thoug I don't think I do as much cooking in it as I could. I use mine most often to make my duck feed. I have made the ice cream recipe and it as sooooo gooood!

  3. Looks delicious Bek. Glad you didn't give up and converted it into something else.

    Could you have make ice cream out of the flop or would it be too runny? Do you think that would have worked? Just thinking out loud in case it happens to me one day.


    1. Cheers Gav! I expect mixing the runny jam with custard would make an excellent ice-cream, or even just freezing it and making sorbet would work. All legitimate ways to turn a jam fail into success.

  4. Not a fail! A re-purposing. I've just started making my own yoghurt which has no sugar in it at all. In fact it has quite a lovely slightly sharp yoghurty flavour. I can imagine your strawberry sauce on my yoghurt...yum.

    1. That's a nice way of putting it. :)
      Home made yoghurt sounds delicious. I've tried it once and it was ok, but I didn't quite get into the routine of it all and I just buy it, but I do prefer the greek style sharp plain yoghurts. Strawb sauce with that would be very, very nice I imagine.

  5. Last year I was so determined that I would make strawberry jam that set properly (without resorting to pectin) that I boiled the jam for FAR longer than the recipe required.
    My jam turned out rock hard.
    There's just no winning, is there?

    - Christine

    1. I feel your pain. But better to fail than to give up. One day it will be perfect and all the failures will be forgotten.