Strawberry, vanilla and mint jam

3:10 pm on 8 December 2017

Strawberry, vanilla and mint jam

Strawberry, vanilla and mint jam by Kirsten Day

Strawberry, vanilla and mint jam by Kirsten Day Photo: supplied

The flavours of the vanilla and mint are subtle in this jam,
but definitely add depth to the jam.

Makes 2 x 250ml jars

500g strawberries

1 lemon

2 oranges

1 vanilla pod

350g jam-setting sugar

6–8 mint leaves


Place 2 saucers into the freezer to get cold; these are used to test your jam for setting.

Hull the strawberries, cut them in halves or quarters, and put them into a large, heavy-based saucepan.

Zest the lemon. Peel the skin off the oranges using a potato peeler, being careful not to get any pith, and finely slice the skin. Squeeze the oranges and measure the juice — you need 250ml orange juice. Squeeze the lemon, and add the juice to the orange juice, and strain.

Slice the vanilla pod down the middle, and, using the tip of the knife, carefully scrape out the seeds.

Add the vanilla pod and seeds, juice, sliced orange peel, lemon zest and sugar to the saucepan containing the strawberries. Stir to combine, cover with a clean tea towel, and leave to macerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 130°C.

Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water, and rinse. Place the jars into the oven to warm and sterilise them, at least 10 minutes. Put the lids into a small bowl, and pour boiling water over to sterilise.

Heat the mixture until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat to a rolling boil, and cook for 5–10 minutes, or until the setting point has been reached. At this stage, skim off any foam.

To test whether the setting point has been reached, remove the saucepan from the heat. Place a teaspoon of the jam onto 1 of the cold saucers. Allow the jam to cool, then push your finger through the jam. It should start to congeal and wrinkle up — if you can push your finger through and it’s still runny, you haven’t yet reached the setting point. Alternatively, if you are using an instant-read thermometer, the temperature has reached 104°C.

If it has not set, return the saucepan to the heat, bring the mixture back up to a rolling boil, and test again in a few minutes, using the second saucer.

When ready, remove the saucepan from the heat, and carefully crush the fruit, using a potato masher.

Finely slice the mint leaves, and stir them
into the hot jam, then allow the jam to cool for 10 minutes.

Ladle the jam into the hot, sterilised jars to within ½ cm of the top rim. Screw the lids on tightly, and allow to cool.

Label and date each jar, before storing them in a cool, dark place, where they will keep for up to 1 year.


From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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