July 4th, 2009


My Signature Jam, Strawberry and Redcurrant

This might sound bizarre, most chefs have a signature dish, mine is a signature jam. This strawberry and redcurrant jam is my star recipe, and I’m proud of it.

The combination of these two red fruits works brilliantly together and this recipe works for me every time.

I do not believe in buying pectin enriched sugar or even adding pectin to my jams, I simply believe in following the method correctly, stick to the rules and persevere until the right temperatures  are reached.        I also believe in cooking jam in small batches, this way it is easier to control and to eliminate problems.

The choice of fruit plays a big role in the success of my tasty jams. I choose the variety  ‘Cambridge Favourite’  strawberries for my jam. I go to my local PYO so that I can select the very ripe ones, this ensures that my jam is packed with flavour.

This jam makes a pretty gift and is prefect for my roasted strawberry scones  served with a double helping of fresh clotted cream. It’s an excellent reminder of a fabulous summer.


  • 600g strawberries
  • 600g redcurrants
  • 1200g caster sugar
  • juice of one lemon

Hull,wash and quarter the strawberries, drain in a colander for 10 minutes.

Remove the stalks from the redcurrants , wash and drain.

Place the strawberries, redcurrants and sugar in an airtight container, cover and refrigerate over night. The fruits starts to bleed and the sugar begins to dissolve.

Scrape the fruits and sugar in to a heavy base saucepan, place over medium heat. Gently melt the un-dissolved sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up and bring to a vigorous boil.

Wash the edges of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in hot water; this will prevent the jam from crystallising. Do not stir the jam while it is boiling, this will encourage crystallisation. However I do lightly stir the jam a couple of times towards the last few minutes of cooking time to prevent the strawberries from catching at the bottom of the pan.

Boil the jam for about 10 -12 minutes, temperature 104°C – 106°C; this is the ideal setting point for the jam and add the juice of one lemon.

I do not use pectin or pectin rich sugar and for that reason, it is crucial to measure the temperature and follow the few rules outlined above.

When  the correct temperature is reached remove the jam from the heat and add the juice of one lemon.

Make sure you hands are clean or wear disposable gloves.

Have your jam jars ready, cleaned and sterilised, as it is important to decant the hot jam as soon as possible.

Place a small cartouche of parchment paper directly on to the hot jam and close the jar immediately whilst the jam is hot.

Cool the jam jars, clean and label them.

Makes 6 250g jars of jam

Food Fanatics Tips

Crystallisation of Jam: It’s pretty annoying when this happens. Normally it’s only visual once the jam has cooled down completely. I have three simply preventable reasons why crystallisation could happen.

  1. One is if the sugar and fruit start to boil before all the “raw” sugar crystals have dissolved.
  2. Two is once the sugar has dissolved and the jam reached the vigorous boiling stage  you did not wash the edges with a pastry brush dipped in hot water. As the “raw” sugar crystals get stuck to the edge of the pan and falls back in to the boiling syrup,the larger un-dissolved crystals accumulate molecules and this encourages the growth of large crystals know as crystallisation.
  3. Third is that you should never stir boiling jam or sugar syrup for that matter. If you do stir the boiling syrup it knocks the sugar crystals together and encourages the formation of larger crystals and crystallisation sets in once cooled.

Sterilising the jars: This is one of the most crucial tasks that you should never cut corners . If you not do this properly you might find your jam becomes mouldy and ferments sooner than expected.Preheat the oven to 100°C. Wash the jars in hot soapy water; do not dry them with a tea towel. Place the damp jars and lids on a clean baking tray; try not to touch the jars and lids on the insides. Place them in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Let the jars cool slightly before you scoop in the jam.

Other pointers are -never pour cold liquid in to hot glass jars, you will end up with broken glass, - take extra care when sterilising the jars, as if they are overheated they might explode.

Print Recipe Print Recipe with Photo

19 Comments to “My Signature Jam, Strawberry and Redcurrant”

Pages: [2] 1 » Show All

  1. Lynn says:

    Hello Maddy,

    Your recipe look lovely and yummy. I would like to try the recipe; however, I never see redcurrants around where I live. Can I use only strawberry and leave the rest of of the ingredients the same to make this jam?



  2. April says:

    Hi. I’m wondering if there are any differences in the recipes if I am at high altitude? We’re in Colorado at about 6800 ft.

    So excited and nervous to try making my first currant jam!


  3. Anne says:

    Tried it yesterday and it worked perfectly. Delicious. Just one query – why do you add the lemon juice at the end and not the beginning, and does it make any difference? I am trying it again today using 400 g. redcurrants and 800 g. strawberries and an extra lemon.

  4. Madalene says:

    Dear Anne,

    I add the lemon juice at the end to prevent crystallization and also to add a fresh taste. If you add the juice at the beginning the freshness disappears.
    Enjoy jamming.

    Best wishes

  5. Louise says:

    I am looking for a raspberry & redcurrant jam recipe where redcurrant juice is used (so there are no pips). Do you have any suggestions?

    I was interested in your reply to Mandy as you suggest she uses pectin rich sugar but in your introduction you say that you do not believe in using pectin enriched sugar. I am now totally confused.

  6. Madalene says:

    Dear Louise,

    If you boil the redcurrants first with a dash of water and no sugar until they burst and all the juices released, then pass the juice through a muslin cloth then your redcurrants are turned into juice.
    Yes I said in the intro I do not like to use pectin rich sugar however for Mandy as a home cook I suggested if she wanted to be reassured that her jam is going to set she has the option to use the pectin rich sugar.

    Happy cooking


  7. Victoria says:

    I made this jam today but sadly it didn’t turn out so well. I followed your instructions exactly using a jam thermometer but the jam did not set (though it tasted great!).

    I re-boiled it and it took another 1/2 hour to reach setting point (tested on saucers from the freezer this time). Sadly as it’s now been cooked for so long, it has lost the lovely fresh fruit taste it had after the first boiling :( What did I do wrong?

  8. Madalene says:

    Oh Victoria,

    I’m so sorry to hear your jam was not a great success. I also made strawberry jam this year that did not set, I did the same re-boil and it’s also went dark.
    I have no idea why, perhaps my fruits where not ripe enough, all I can say is that even though I personally dislike using pectin or pectin rich sugar it’s is an option to use that for fruits that contains naturally less pectin than others.

    Better luck next time.


  9. Mandy says:

    I made this jam yesterday with the fruit I had picked in the garden. I only made a half quantity (that was all the fruit I had) and my proportions were a bit different as I had more strawberries and less recurrants, but it worked brilliantly. The jam is super tasty and the set is perfect. I shall definitely use this recipe again. Does it work for all fruit (raspberries are just starting to ripen) or is the boiling time different, etc? It was nice to make just two jars of jam too, we made 36 jars of seville orange marmalade at the beginning of the year, which was a bit of a marathon!

Pages: [2] 1 » Show All

Leave a Comment