Thursday, 8 August 2013


Some radio station today had a feature on the word "jam". Which was quite apt as I'd spent the weekend jamming away, after our annual pick your own trip to East Yonderton Farm in Paisley. As I bought the jamming sugar, the woman at the checkout asked if it was easy to make jam, as she'd always wanted to give it a try but then though it may be too tricky.

Well, what can I say, I'm not a domestic goddess, I'm no great cook, but making jam? The easiest thing in the world.

Go on, give it a try, it's really simple and while not cheaper than the cheapest jam jar at your exploiting supermarket, it tastes 100 times better and you know where the fruit came from (if you did pick it yourself, which isn't actually a requirement).

My favourite is rapsberry jam but I've made jam from throwing all odd fruits I had together, from my rhubarb glut when I had an allotment rather than clay soil in my front garden which the rhubarb clearly doesn't like, strawberries, brambles and the Rhineland speciality of plum spread (which is a different recipe and involves a lot more time and patience).

large saucepan, wooden spoon
6 sterilised jars and lids (you can sterilise by putting them into the oven at 150 degrees for 10 mins.) I reuse jars with nice wide opening.
optionally: a funnel, wax discs 

1kg of fruit
1kg of sugar (jamming sugar for raspberries and strawberries, some fruit will require preserving sugar, alternatively you can use normal sugar and add pectin. Preserving and jamming sugar are only stocked at large supermarkets, the packets also tell you which fruit to use it for)
a knob of butter
a splash of lemon juice (both optional)

What to do:
Add fruit and sugar (and optionally lemon juice) to a large saucepan, at least twice the depth of the mixture, slowly heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring with a wooden spoon. Then get the heat on and add the butter. When the mixture is boiling vigorously, start your timer and boil vigorously for 4 minutes.

(this is not a full rolling boil yet. I love my jamming saucepan by the way, it's ancient 
I'm sure but perfect for making jam)

You then may want to test if the setting point has been reached. To be honest, I'm not fussed about this step, Only once did my jam not set and it was still lovely, just a bit runny. But if you have to, this is how to do it: put a small plate in fridge or freezer and after 4mins of boiling, put a bit of jam on the plate, wait 10 seconds and then touch with a finger. If it wrinkles, the jam is done. If not, boil a tad longer, try again.

Fill jam into jars. A funnel is handy for this. If you have wax discs, put them on top of jam, seal with lid. Done. You may want to label or decorate with nice fabric, I'm lazy, esp if I do 4 batches in one night and finish at 1am, so mine look like this.

Finally: Eat. Yum

22 jars of jam, should get us through the year until the next summer.


sustainablemum said...

We made raspberry jam last week too, with fruit from a pick your own farm. My recipe is a little different from yours but I agree that homemade jam is delicious!

cartside said...

Oh do share your recipe! Would love to see how it's different.

y.s.s. said...

Wish I'd followed the recipe... I had a hilarious experience with 'jam-making' years back when my kids were weenies and I was trying on the mantle of 'domestic goddess' and 'stay at home wonder wummin'. I'd to chisel the resultant stuff out of my best big one-pot cooking pot.
I'm older and more sensible now... think I'll give your jam-recipe a try. :-D



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