Friday 19 September 2008

Jam making - blackberry and raspberry

I have been away for two weeks so when I got back home yesterday, I found David had made 8 jars of strawberry jam. These are not strawberries we grew ourselves. Instead, he hunts around Stanley market to find bargains on fruit and veg. He often strikes gold. A market stall holder was selling off large quantities of strawberries cheaply. Okay, I know this is not an example of self-sufficiency but it is a good example of avoiding waste!

Strawberry jam

Strawberry jam is easy to make but difficult to get to set. There is very little pectin in strawberries. Don't be surprised if your strawberry jam comes out runny. The following is the recipe David used:

1.5kg strawberries
1.5kg sugar
seeds of one vanilla pod
juice of 3 large lemons
a bottle of pectin

Put the strawberries into the jam pan with the lemon juice. (Don't throw away the lemon skins. Save them up in the freezer. A recipe on how to use them is coming soon.)

Add in the vanilla seeds.

Heat the pan, stirring often to help break up the fruit.

Bring to the boil and keep stirring until the fruit has broken up.

Stir in the sugar and the pectin and gently boil until the setting point is reached. (Remember this may turn out to be a bit of a sloppy, runny jam.)

Add the jam to warmed jars and seal.

Blackberry jam

If you are just starting out on jam making, I recommend oyu try blackberry jam. It is easy to make, the fruit is abundant and it sets easily. I picked the blackberries for this last night, on the Tanfield Railway, next to Sunniside. The following is the recipe I used:

1.5kg blackberries
1.5kg sugar
grated rind and juice of 4 large lemons

Add blackberries and lemon rind and juice to jam pan and heat.

Bring to boil and stir to help the fruit break up.

Once this has happened, keep gently boiling and stir in the sugar.

When the setting point has been reached (and that won't take long) put into warmed jars and seal.

As a result we now have an additional 14 jars of jam for our collection - 8 strawberry and 6 blackberry.

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