Saturday, 23 August 2008

So what did we do with all that fruit? Part 1 - Jams and Jelly

As I said in an earlier post we had been to a PYO and returned with loads of fruit. With my birthday money I bought a jam pan and was waiting for the soft fruit season to put it to good use. I have learnt that jams are quite easy to make, contrary to what some manufacturers would have you believe. We have been finding it great fun too. I think its the geeky scientists in us that like to watch it set. We understand the science, yet it still seems like magic. How sad?!

We staggered the jam making over two days. We started with the raspberry jam as they were likely to go mouldy first.

We then entered new territory, jelly making. Redcurrant jelly is great to stir into gravy. The first thing to do is extract the juice which means simmering the redcurrants in water. You then strain the juice overnight using a jelly bag. You can buy jelly bag stands but we used Andrew's mum chair technique with the help of some climbing gear.

After the juice is strained, you just have to boil it with sugar until it reaches the setting point. We made another batch of strawberry jam. The last jam we made was blackcurrant. There were loads of blackcurrants on the bushes at the PYO and we were the only ones picking them!

This jam turned out to be the best value jam to make. It produced 6.5 lb. The ingredients for 1lb cost just 73p.

In total we made:

  • 7 jars of blackcurrant jam (6.5lb)
  • 4 jars of strawberry jam (4lb)
  • 6 jars of raspberry jam (6lb)
  • 1lb of redcurrant jelly
We used recipes from the River Cottage Handbook and Women's Institute.


Jules said...

These jams look great. Good to see that the recipies in the preserves book work well.

I was hoping to make jams this summer, but the PYO closed after running out of fruit while I was away on holiday :(

mycookinghut said...

It's great to learn how to make jams and jelly! Looks like that makes lots of bottles!