What’s in season: Summer berries

Sebastian Sedlak   Food StylistFruit has been an important part of our diet for many thousands of years. The sweet and fleshy seed-carrying product of a plant, fruit is a versatile food that can be eaten raw or cooked. Because of Australia’s varied climate – tropical in the north and more temperate in the south – we are able to grow just about any kind of fruit.

Berries are in abundance during the warmer summer months, and are an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre. Summer berries should be kept refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within a few days.

Berry Jam


1kg of berries, such as strawberries, raspberries or blackberries, or any combination
3 tablespoons (60ml) lemon juice
4 cups (1kg) sugar


  1. Place a saucer in freezer to chill.
  2. If using strawberries, hull and halve them. Leave other berries whole.
  3. Place berries in saucepan and stir through sugar. Allow to macerate for 1-2 hours.
  4. Add lemon juice and bring to boil on medium-high heat.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until berries are soft.
  6. Remove a third of the mixture and set aside.
  7. Cook remaining mixture, uncovered, until jam reaches setting point; about another 30 minutes. You will need to stir the mixture in the last 10 minutes of cooking to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
  8. To test whether jam has reached setting point, place 1 teaspoon of the jam onto the chilled saucer and return saucer to the freezer for 1-2 minutes. Then remove the saucer from the freezer and run your finger through the jam; if the surface wrinkles and the jam stays in 2 separate sections, it is ready. If the jam is not ready, cook for a further 5 minutes and repeat test.
  9. Stir in reserved berry minute.
  10. Let mixture cool slightly before pouring into sterilised jars. Allow to cool completely and then seal.

9780195570403This recipe is taken from Oxford’s The Food Book which is available in hardback format and as an app. Check out The Food Book website for more recipes, videos demonstrating food skills and much more!


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