Jamming and Bottling - August 2006
I have been busy trying to make the most out of the fruits that are coming in abundance at the moment. Unfortunately, I have now run out of reasonable sized jars - only have huge ones left - so all the fruits are now in bags in the freezer.
Marrow and Ginger jam
2Ib cooked, well squeezed marrow
8oz ginger in syrup
pinch dried powdered ginger
Cook the marrow until very tender then SQUEEEEEEZE out as much liquid as possible. Weigh it and use the same amount of sugar as you have pulp. Put it back into the preserving pan and add the sugar. Warm slowely until the sugar has dissolved and add the chopped stem ginger. Chop it as finely or coursely as you like it. Add a pinch, or a large pinch of ginger - again, your taste. Cook rapidly until you have a smooth paste - you are not trying to reach setting point, just a paste like texture. Bottle in sterile warm jars and seal.
Marrow and citrus curd
2Ib cooked, well squeezed marrow
4+ citrus fruits of your choice. Lemons and limes, 6+
Cook the marrow until tender in a little water then SQUEEZE it good and hard to get as much liquid out as you can. I put a plate on the top of the marrow which is in a collander and weight it overnight.Mash with a spud masher or blitz with a hand blitzer until you have a smooth puree, then into a large pan with the grated rind and juice of the citrus fruit, sugar and butter. Slowely warm until the sugar has dissolved, the cook gently until you are left with a smooth paste - took about 25 minutes for mine. You are not trying to reach setting point. Bottle in sterile warm jars and seal.
Tutti Fruitti Jelly (daughter number ones jam of choice!)
A selection of berries that you have available
couple of tart cooking apples
DAY 1: Place all the fruit in the pan. Peel, core and coursely chop the apple. Cut the lemon in half. Add these to the pan. Cook slowely for about 30 minutes so the fruit is all tender, the juices are running and the apple has completely turned to mooosh.
Bash with a potato masher, or blitz with a hand whizzer. Carefully pour the liquid through a seive, then pour the liquid through a jelly bag for a really clear jelly. I squidge and rub the mooosh as it goes through the seive to get maximum liquid and flavour. Then I pass the liquid through the jelly bag first, followed by the pulpy mooosh which I then leave to drip into a bowl overnight.
DAY 2: Measure the liquid and for every pint you need 1Ib of sugar. Gently warm the liquid in a preserving pan with the sugar, stirring well until all the sugar has completely dissolved. Now bring up to a rapid boil and cook until setting point in reached. Bottle in warm, sterile jars and seal.
Roughly chop a big pile of apples - cookers and eaters - a lemon and a couple of chillis. Place it all in the preserving pan with just enough water to cover. This apple mix should be cooked slowely until you have a big pan of juicy mash. This is then passed through a seive or jelly bag. If you want it clear and sharp, through a jelly bag and don't squeeze, if you don't mind it with a bit more body, then give it a squeeze or a squidge. I now measure the liquid and for every pint I use a pound of sugar. The liquid and sugar goes into the preserving pan with as many chopped chillis as you see fit. I use a selection of whatever I have and I chop them, seeds and all in my mini blitzer. Slowely bring this up to the boil making sure all of the sugar has dissolved, then get boiling. BE WARNED, the steam is chilli flavoured and MIGHT make your eyes sting. Once it reaches setting point, bottle into sterile jars. I did some fancy by pushing a whole fresh 'pretty' chilli into the middle of the jelly. I also did some with some smoked praprika added at the end of cooking time. Made a lovely smokey chilli jelly.
Bottled Plums (Thanks Supersprout)
A bowl of firm red plums - de-stoned
Kilner jars or similar (Le Parfait etc.)
Fresh rubber gromits
Rinse out jars with boiling water, including lids, to sterilise. Wash fruit and pack into jars. Thump the bottom of the jar on the table as you fill it to get as many in as possible and pack tightly. Close the jars, but do not seal with gromits and place in the oven at 120c for approximately 90 minutes.
Make a fruit syrup - light is 4 oz sugar to 1 pint of water, more sugar makes a heavier syrup. Some juice will have come out and the fruit will have sunk. Take the bottles out of the oven and put them on a wooden or plastic board (to stop them cracking). Pour boiling water over gromits and funnel, to sterilise. Pour syrup to fill jar through the funnel. The fruit might rise a bit, but will sink later. Fish gromit out of boiling water, fix it on jar lid, and clamp or screw shut. Next day or when completely cold, unclamp or unscrew and lift by the lid to check there's a vacuum.
4Ib de-stoned plums/gages
Place the plums and lemon into a preserving pan and cook until the fruits are tender and the juice has run. Fish out the lemon and add the sugar. Stir well until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring up to a rolling boil and cook until setting point is reached. THIS JAM WILL CATCH SO STIR STIR STIR!! Bottle in sterile, warm jars and seal.