Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Credit crunch cooking no.1 - blackberry and apple jam

I have called this credit crunch cooking as this is a recipe that costs very little but goes a long way. You need some blackberries and apples and sugar. Pick the blackberries wild. And lay your hands on some cheap apples, eating or cooking. Our apples came from our neighbour's garden. He gave us them last year but we didn't have time to use them. So they were peeled, chopped and cored and went into the freezer. (Keep the apple waste for the compost heap jelly I have mentioned - stick it in a bag with citruis fruit peel and put it into the freezer. More about that on another blog post).

The blackberries were also from the freezer. We had picked far too many some time ago so they were frozen ratehr than used. But we needed the space in the freezer (and it's amazing what else you find in the bottom of a chest freezer when you bother to look!)

The quantities I used when I made the jam on Sunday were 2.5kg of blackberries to 1kg of apples. The proportion of one to another can vary according to what you have available , up to a ratio of 50:50.

So, blackberry and apple jam recipe:

Put fruit into jam pan and heat it. Stir to help blackberries break up.

Bring to boil and leave heat under pan until the contents have become a sloppy pulp.

Stir in the sugar - same quantity in weight as overall weight in fruit.

Keep reasonable heat under pan and stir regularly to avoid it catching on.

When a skin forms on the surface (or on a small sample of the jam on a plate) it has reached its setting point.

Put into warm jars and a day late take one into work and find you are very popular with colleagues!

So there you go, dead easy to make. The costs you need to cover are apples (try to get some cheap from market stalls at the end of a day's trading if you don't have any trees growing locally you can pick for nothing), sugar (make plenty and you might as well buy a 5kg bag of sugar, it's cheaper that way) and of course the fuel to cook the stuff (unless yoy are cooking on solid fuel with your own supply of wood!)

Above - early on in the process, before the fruit becomes a pulp.

This is what it's like once the sugar is added.

And of course, the finished product. From the above quantities, I made 17 jars.

No comments: