Though my typical weekday breakfast is usually a smoothie with all kinds of hip ‘superfoods’, on the weekends I won’t turn up my nose at a more substantial choice. Saturday mornings call for hearty foods such as scrambled eggs and bacon or baguette slathered with good butter, while on Sundays we love freshly baked croissants. And there can’t be croissants without jam!
Though there are wonderful jams out there, making your own jam is very easy and very satisfying. This fragrant strawberry jam is perfect with croissants, but also lovely over thick, Greek yogurt as an indulgent dessert. In that case, I like to top each portion with fresh mint leaves.
Strawberry Vanilla Jam
Makes about ½ liter of jam
- 1 lb. strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1 ¼ cup gelling sugar
- Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- Juice of ½ a small lemon
Cut the strawberries in half and place them in a stainless steel pan. Sprinkle with the sugar and mash slightly with a potato masher, making sure you leave some nice chunks. You don’t want to mash the strawberries into a sauce! Add the vanilla seeds and lemon juice, stir and quickly bring everything to the boil. Lower the heat and allow the jam to cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring frequently. You’ll want the jam to bubble away nicely, but make sure that the heat isn’t so high that it splatters everywhere. To check if the jam is ready, drop about a teaspoonful onto a cold saucer. The jam should be thick and immediately start to set. Transfer the jam to your sterilised jar(s), and allow to cool before placing in the fridge. The jam keeps for at least six months when stored in a dark, cool place.