Saturday, 18 June 2011

Ripe! Gooseberries ripe! No wait that's not right... More jam basically

It's been said, more than once that I have a tendency towards obsessiveness, some things have to be 'just so' others are seen, done, experienced over and over until I either get it out of my system, or move on. I'm like that with many things, *cough*Musicals*cough* as well as food. At the moment, as a result of my new found confidence I'm all about the jam. Throw me a packet of sugar and some fruit, and I'll make it work. Which was exactly the position I found myself in on Tuesday night. Exempt from Guides owing to the med changes leaving me decidedly queasy, clearly the natural thing to do is to cook. Oh and tweet whilst doing so. I am woman, watch me multitask.

I had in my fridge a punnet of the Riverford gooseberries, a fruit which I am not too fond of as I just find them too tart. I also had some once lovely, now slightly soft Granny Smith apples lurking at the bottom of the fruit bowl. Having tweeted for suggestions, and discarded all of them - sorry folks - but I think my heart was already set on jam. I googled for some recipes. Ignored those, and just went on proportions. Yes folks I'm living life on the edge here in North London. I invented a jam recipe. Of my own. By myself. Surely I deserve a badge? Guiding folks, did there used to be a jam maker badge? Please say there did!

So, this is roughly how my recipe went - and I halved the amount I have made both for marmalade and strawberry jam as a) I wasn't sure I had enough jars and b) I don't have a decent preserving pan, just a bog standard thing from Ikeas basic range. Which I have to say, did the job beautifully, although I didn't dare stop stirring the molten sugar and fruit for one second. Thank God I can touch type is all I can say.

Gooseberry and apple jam

500g fruit - roughly half and half apples and gooseberries. I peeled cored and finely diced the apples, and just topped and tailed the gooseberries.
225ml water
650g sugar (again, I'm just using regular sugar, not preserving sugar)

Put a saucer in the fridge
Wash out some jars in hot soapy water, rinse and dry and put in a low oven to sterilise

Top and tail the gooseberries and put them in a large pan with the water. I know I've talked about using Lakeland's preserving pan previously, but I just used the Ikea 365 stockpot for this, and it was fine, no spitting or catching.

Bring to a rolling boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the sugar and let it dissolve over a low heat, whilst stirring constantly. I found that the sugar dissolved quicker in this recipe than in the strawberry jam or marmalade - but again that could just be down to the nature of the fruit.

Boil rapidly for about 10 minutes until setting point is reached. Do the wrinkle test, using the cold saucer, if the jam hasn't set then put it back on the heat and boil for another 5 minutes. My batch needed the extra 5 minutes.

Pour into sterilised jars. When cool put the lids on, and label up. More jam! For your jam cupboard!

I talked to Mark's mum about this - Mark's mum being the authority on all things jam related, and she reckons that this would go well with cold meats or cheeses as well as a traditional jam.

1 comment:

Seren said...

Jam making (a bit like bread making) is something I've never really tried - but your recent posts have inspired me. I love the idea of gooseberry and apple - I'm thinking it would be fantastic with pork. Thanks for the recipe!


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