Saturday, 14 September 2013

JAM - A JAR TO FAR? 2013

 This year we had to find a new pick-your-own farm as the one we have been using had not been cared for as well as it should, the cherries were good but it would appear that the fields hadn't been watered so the fruit wasn't very good.  The farm we found was near Sittingbourne  best range of soft fruit we have seen for a long while, they even had redcurrants and blackcurrants.
Usually after hot (yes there were a few this year) summer days picking fruit I freeze it so I do not have to spend hot summer evening sweltering over the jam pan.

This summer a lack of foresight meant that the freezer was too full to stock with fruit, especially as I still had some beautiful golden cherry plums that I had been given last year lurking in the bottom of the freezer.

Jam making for me always means pouring over the pages of one of my favourite cookery books - THE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING COMPLETE BOOK OF HOME PRESERVING, 1981
before using a strawberry jam recipe - slightly modified  Strawberry and Raspberry jam.  The other jams I made were :- blackcurrant (a half batch of this one); cherry and pineapple; golden cherry plum jam.
1.75kg fruit 
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5kg sugar
knob of butter

Place the fruit in a preserving pan with the lemon juice and simmer gently stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes untill really soft.
Take the pan off the heat add the sugar stirring until dissolved, then add the butter return to the heat and boil rapidly for about 20 minutes.
Test for a set and when setting point has been reached, take pan off the heat and remove any scum with a slotted spoon.  Allow jam to cool for 15 minutes to prevent fruit rising in the jars, then stir gently and pot and cover in the usual way. 
 I use this recipe for mixed fruit jam especially if I have any small amounts of left over fruit.

CHERRY AND PINEAPPLE JAM - this is a really nice jam.  I wasn't sure if I would like it and had only made it because I had been a little carried away while picking cherries.

Labelled and ready for storing.

A very small house and kitchen means storing the jam where there is space.  Lots of room behind the DVD collection, which is just as well as this year I seem to have made an awful lot of jam.

Just the mincemeat to make in a couple more weeks, when the apples are ready.  That will give it pleanty of time to mature before Christmas.  

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