Saturday, 2 August 2008

Making gooseberry and raspberry jam

If you know where to look, you can find lots of raspberries and a reasonable number of gooseberries growing wild. Look in hedgerows and woodland for gooseberries. Raspberries tend to like more open spaces. Both can be grown on allotments. We have both on the 2nd allotment (the one that is fully derelict at the moment). We picked the gooseberries there for the following jam making exercise. We haven't yet picked the raspberries. Rain today put a halt to that. We also cheated a bit and if you are a jam maker, you may want to try what we did a bit yourselves.

Check out market stalls selling fruit and veg close to closing time, especially if the market is not in operation the next day. You can often pick up cheaply large quantities of soft fruit in particular that the market trader is desperate to get rid of. David bought 12 punnets of raspberries in Consett yesterday for £2. Three punnets weigh a kilo in total. This quantity and price makes jam making worthwhile.

So, here's the recipe, using the quantities I used this Saturday afternoon:

2kg of gooseberries
2kg of raspberries
grated rind and juice of 6 lemons

Pleace these in a pan and bring to boil, stirring regularly.

You will find the raspberries break up quickly. The gooseberries take longer. Eventually the heat makes them burst.

When everything has pulped down, add in the sugar. 4kg in this instance, ie total weight in sugar is the same as total weight in fruit.

Bring to boil again and keep stirring until setting point has been reached (ie when it has developed a skin on the surface, or when after putting a small dollop on a saucer it has developed a skin) it is time to put into warm jars. Make sure you spoon off the scum surface that develops.

It should be ready to use immediately afterwards.

I saw one recipe today that said the fruit should be heated and then sieved to remove the seeds. You have to be mad to do that! The seeds are part of the characted of the jam. And secondly, life is just too short to waite on sieving soft fruit!

Here's the video of today's jam making: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_kg6g91FdEw

2 comments:

Ali said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog - interesting! Keep up the good work on the lotty.
Shame you're a lib dem though!Never mind eh!
We don't like lib dems in our borough - they make us pay to have our garden waste removed which has meant more collection vans on the roads as well as hundreds of cars making journeys to the dump each week - talk about getting it wrong BIG time!!

Jonathan Wallace said...

Hi Ali, glad you like reading my blog. Sorry you're having a few problems with my colleagues in Sutton. In their defence, charging for collection is something many councils of all political colours do.

Anyway, you have inspired me to include a link to your blog on this site. I had a quick look through yours and it looks like your having a great time on your allotment.