Thursday, 21 October 2010

Jammy So and So!

Well, so far so good.  I decided, having come across a few dishevelled looking berries in the bottom of the fridge, to make my own jam rather than chuck them out.  My decision was also spurred on by the donation of some plums from my friend’s garden which were far too sour to contemplate eating without first encasing in a tonne of sugar!  And how do you do that?  Jam!

So, collecting a few empty jars together, getting jam sugar from Tesco’s and purchasing a pack of jam pot covers (circa £1.50 from a local shop I never knew existed!) I started to trawl through jam recipes.  Talk of setting points and testing blobs on plates was all starting to get a bit too much for me and I could see pots and pots of runny stuff that I would have to pass off as sauce for ice cream taking up space in the fridge for weeks to come.  So, imagine my delight when I came across a jam recipe where you bung the whole lot in the microwave, stir it a few times and hey presto! Jam.  I’ve copied the recipe below for any others who’d prefer to cheat rather than spend hours standing with copper bottomed pots (I don’t even possess one of those) on the stove.  But perhaps everyone knew about this wonderful jam making innovation before me? 

Anyway, please use the recipe below, it works a treat.  And these are my beautiful pots of jam – one mixed berries and two plum (we’ve eaten another two of these already and they were delicious!).  I’ve put the two at the front into my Christmas stash for homemade presents (imagine my sisters delight when they unwrap jam for Christmas rather than Clarins J).

Makes around 4 small jars

500g fruit (I used blackberries, raspberries and strawberries for my mixed berry jam and plums for the plum jam!)
500g jam sugar (make sure it's jam sugar and not preserving sugar!)

Blend the fruit and sugar in a large microwave proof bowl (leave it to come up to room temperature once mixed).  Stir again and then place the bowl in the microwave on High for 3 mins (I have an 800 watt microwave so you may need to experiment a bit if yours is different).  Stir well.  Microwave for a further 3 minutes on High, stir again.  Finish off with a final 2 minutes on High in the microwave the pour into warm sterlised jars.  (Sterilise by washing in very hot water or in the dishwasher and then drying them off in the overn at 170 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes). 

Once bottled and cool, the jam is ready to eat but will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.  Keep in the fridge once opened - and enjoy!

Do you have any other jam, marmalade or other preserve recipes that you'd like to share?  Or any tips for making it perfect?

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