Monday, 11 July 2011

Stonkingly good

Walden Local Food market and some of my Stonking produce

As part of my new foodie working life I spend one day a week making up jams, preserves and chutneys for Walden Local Food. They are a weekly produce market based on Butcher Row in Saffron Walden and everything they stock is sourced within 40 miles of Saffron Walden. Every week the lovely market manager, Liz, drops off any produce that they haven't sold and I devise a recipe to use up the glut. It means that whatever I make also uses ingredients within 40 miles (even the jam sugar comes from the British Sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds) It's great fun not knowing what I am going to get and looking through recipes for inspiration. So far I have made jams and curds from rhubarbs, gooseberries and summer fruits, as well as elderflower cordial and some piccalli. There should be a tomato chutney on the way soon.

So far my jams seem to have been the bestsellers and so I thought I would share the recipe for the chunky strawberry jam that I made for the market this weekend.

Chunky Strawberry Jam 

2kg strawberries, hulled but left whole
600g jam sugar
Juice and zest of one organic lemon

Gentle heat 3 tablespoons of water with the sugar and lemon zest and juice until the sugar melts and then add the strawberries. Bring to the boil and leave at a rolling boil for 10 minutes. If you have a thermometer then get the temperature up to 105c. Bear in mind that this is a runny jam to allow the fruit to remain whole so don't worry too much about checking for setting, it won't fully set.

As you can see the final result is a beautiful scarlet see-through jam laden with whole strawberries. Perfect on toast, dolloped over ice cream, or my new personal favourite - served with some warm-from-the-oven shortbread. The most delicious afternoon treat. And if you have some creme fraiche handy then a double dip, creme fraiche followed by strawberry jam is messy but quite superb in my book.

You can buy my Stonking jams, preserves, cordials and more at Walden Local Food market, every Saturday 8.30am - 3.30pm on Butcher Row, Saffron Walden.


  1. gorgeousness - I bet you look forward to your Stonking challenge every week x

  2. Jam looks great! Thanks for the chunky jam inspiration- made some myself recently. I love chunky jam on toast.