Summer is at last in full swing … for a few days at least! It’s time to enjoy sunny days and the sweeter things. One way to take advantage of Summer crops like strawberries and raspberries is to transform them into jams, perfect for adding a little sweetness to the days. Have you always been tempted to give jam-making a go, but never known where to start? It can seem like wizardry, but like many things in life, there are simple ways to get started that will help you get your head around the art.
We have everything you need to get started with making your own jam, from harvest the fruit to boiling the sugar and fruit. To make a simple jam, the essentials are a Preserving Pan, Scales to weigh and a sieve or Colander to strain your ingredients, a Spoon to scoop the sticky mixture and Jars to proudly pot up your efforts. Once you have everything you need, whipping up delicious jams and preserves is remarkably simple! Then you are free to enjoy the fruits of you labour however you please, spread between towering Victoria sponges, piled on scones, or spread thinly over just the right amount of toast and butter at breakfast.
Homemade jams also make stunning and creative homemade gifts, so why not start practising now for an easy and appreciated way to impress friends and families when you send a smart tub of delicious jam over for Christmas or a birthday?
We love this recipe for Raspberry Jam, from BBC Good Food. With three simple, delicious ingredients, 15 minutes of prep time and 12 minutes of cooking, anyone can give it a go!
- 1kg Raspberries
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1kg Bag of Jam sugar (the one with pectin added)
- Before you start, sterilise your jars and put a plate in the freezer to chill. Tip half the raspberries into a preserving pan and add the lemon juice. Mash the berries to a pulp over the heat with a potato masher, then leave to cook for 5 mins. Tip the cooked berries into a sieve over a bowl, then once all of the juice has drained off, firmly work the pulp through the sieve with a wooden spoon until you are left with just the seeds.
- Tip the juice and pulp back into the preserving pan and stir in the sugar. Heat gently, then add the remaining whole raspberries. Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and drop a little jam onto the chilled plate. Now push your finger through it – it should wrinkle and look like jam. If it doesn’t, boil for 2 mins, then test again.
- The top of the jam may look like it has sediment on it, but if you stir it well as it cools, a little of this disappears. Pour into the jars and seal. It will keep unopened for a year, although the lovely bright colour will darken a little. Once open, keep in the fridge.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2011