Strawberry Jam is one of life’s delights – a little bit of summer in a jar! This Roasted Strawberry & Vanilla Conserve takes it to the next level. Roasting the strawberries softens the fruit and releases their juices and the vanilla beans add a bit of a lift. Using ‘jam setting sugar’ simplifies the recipe so you don’t have to slave over a hot stove for too long in the heat of summer. You can of course use frozen strawberries and make the recipe later if you prefer.
1 vanilla pod
2 tbsp lemon juice
1kg jam setting sugar
knob of butter (about 10g)
Hull the strawberries and cut into halves or quarters so they are a similar size. Arrange them in a single layer in an oven dish. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and cut in half; nestle the pieces into the strawberries. Roast for 15 minutes at 180C.
Transfer the strawberries, juices and vanilla into a preserving pan. I use a potato masher to mash the strawberries a bit so that they are squashed but still pieces rather than pureed. Add the jam setting sugar, lemon juice and butter.
Slowly bring to the boil, stirring to make sure the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring it to a full rolling boil (that stirring can’t stop) and boil for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and test that the conserve is ready by putting a small amount on a cold saucer. If it wrinkles when you push your finger through it, it is ready (I have never had this recipe not be ready after 4 minutes but if it isn’t, turn the heat back on and boil for another minute or two).
Spoon into hot sterilised jars and seal.
Serve Roasted Strawberry & Vanilla Conserve on your morning toast as a jam or spoon over icecream or pancakes as a dessert.