How not to make Strawberry Jam

Microwave jam – it sounds so easy, right?

I’ve seen recipes for this over the years and thought – must try that one day!  No mucking around with the pot on the stove spitting jam blobs everywhere…

Has anyone else noticed the short life of strawberries after they come home from the shop?  One day and they are getting squishy, two days they are getting mouldy!

My best jam this year was the “Rotten Fruit Jam” I made with the end of the stone-fruit last summer.  I had plums and apricots going rotten.  The fruit had been so delicious, I could not waste the good bits, so I cut off the rotten patches and jam’d the rest, adding a stick of cinnamon while they boiled.  This jam was so good, the jars were emptied in no time.

So, on Saturday, when I had strawberries shrivelling like the Wicked Witch of the West, almost in front of my eyes, I thought – small batch – perfect for testing microwave jam!

I blended the good flesh of the strawbs, some grated lemon peel and a sprinkle of powdered cinnamon, with lemon juice and sugar, hastily googled a recipe and started microwaving


I am guessing if anyone has made microwave jam before, you will immediately spot my first mistake.

Rule # 1 for microwave jam:  Do not overfill the jug – use a big wide-mouthed bowl.

Rule #2 : Do not simply set the microwave and get distracted – especially when you have not followed Rule #1,  or…


…that happens!

So – I tipped as much as I could back into the jug and carried on.

Rule #3 (or possibly a prelude to Rule #1):  Read the instructions all the way through.

I scanned the instructions, thought “I’ve got this – I can do this quickly before going out Sat night, right?

No.  It did not say “Microwave for 4 minutes” – only.

It said  “Microwave for 4 minutes, – then for 15 minutes”.

And because my jug was too small, even with half the jug spilled and gone, I had to stand by and stop it from boiling over every 10 seconds at one stage!  It would have been SO much easier on the stove.

By the time we had to run out of the house to a concert, the jam was still not exactly set.

So – today I made jam tarts (in the real oven) – and they were scrumptious!

Of course, there’s none left now!


My microwave jam days are over!


Sarah : )





10 thoughts on “How not to make Strawberry Jam

  1. Ooopsie! Though the jam tarts look very yummy. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve let my morning porridge erupt in the microwave – I can stand there watching it intently and then one blink of my eyes and it has leapt over the side of the bowl.
    On the theme of microwaves, do you use it for your hot process soaps?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The only time I’ve used the microwave for soap was to kind of “rebatch” a load of scraps.
    But in doing that, I realised the potential danger in using the microwave for soap – in that the oils get very very hot very quickly – so potential burn hazard and potential container breakage hazard (with superheated spillage if that happened). I just use the crockpot for the soap – it works really well.
    And – yes – the jam tarts were SO yummy!!!


    • Thank you for answering …. crockpot it is then – when I finally get round to trying hot process. I keep promising myself I will – it could go on my ‘to do’ list for the New Year! Thanks again

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find HP so much easier than CP, but I am messy and impatient. I like that when the HP is cooked, the contents are no longer caustic.
        I just cook on high for about 15-20 mins, and stir because crokpots dont give even temps across their surface, and when the infrared thermometer tells me the temp is 180 (F) or above, I turn the heat off and whisk with a silicon coated hand whisk.
        Sometimes the mix can look as if it is about to separate, but you can actually see it gel while you whisk and watch it change form – you get a real feel for it.
        You can cook for longer, but I dont like the thought of the oils getting so hot – they can get to 200+.
        I find the mix actually heats up by itself as it gels while I whisk!
        Then I cool down a bit before adding the EOs – you can find charts of “flash points” for EOs – some can withstand heat and some can’t (citrus “pop” at higher temps so I find there is not much scent left if you add to very hot mix).
        It’s a bit of a juggle, letting it cool enough for the fragrance but not too much so that it’s just a glug and won’t mould easily. I am thinking to experiment with water content, because the water will dry out of the set soap.
        Hope that makes sense!! Just my thoughts and experiments 😊


  3. Oh wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to explain your method – the guide for temperatures is especially helpful and I love the idea of being able to witness the gel phase. I have got used to all the waiting that goes with cp, but the immediacy of hp is very tempting…..

    Liked by 1 person

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