I love that point when you have been visiting relatives and it becomes time to leave, where you are almost certainly persuaded to take something with you whether it be left over cake, plant clippings, some carrots dug out the garden (the later is a particular reference to my Grandad) or just something in the house that doesn’t get used anymore. As you make your way to the door it gets pulled out from a secret corner and thrust into your hands in a plastic bag for you to nurse on your lap all the way home.
Last weekend at a cousins birthday I was very gratefully given a plastic bag bursting with Gooseberries! What a treat! And what a great nudge to get me to make my first batch of jam this year!
Given the weather I thought I’d try a real summery mixture of Strawberry, gooseberry and elderflower.
Nip the top and bottom off the gooseberries and pop them staright into a large metal pan/maslin pan. I used about half the amount of lovely English strawberries (hulled and roughly chopped) to the gooseberries I had and then a good slurp of Elderflower Cordial.
I’m not entirely sure on quantities as I tend to guess with most things but there was a punett of strawberries, about twice that of gooseberries and about 250ml of elderflower cordial.
Boil these up in the pan for about 15 mins until the fruit becomes soft, striring frequently. I squidged up all gooseberries and some of the strawberries with a wooden spoon although I do like to leave a few big chunks of fruit.
An equal amount of sugar can now be added to the fruit as it is a 1:1 ratio, so measure the amount you have by tipping into a plastic measuring jug very carefully as it will be hot and then pouring pack into the pan (you may need to use another pan or bowl if you have a lot of fruit). Now you know how much sugar to add.
Keeping a close eye, boil this for about half an hour up to setting temperature which is about 220 degrees with a jam thermometer. If you don’t have a jam thermometer the put some of the jam onto a chilled saucer and when it cools try pushing the top with your finger and if it wrinkles you’ve reached the right point! During this time you can also skim any foamy bits off the top that don’t look so pretty.
Frank was getting particularly bored of the jam making by this point. He is actually quite a fan of jam but only when it’s on toast with butter.
Now you can poor your jam into hot sterilised jars from the oven using a jam funnel or ladle. Place a wax disk on top then screw on your lid using gloves as it should all still be too hot to touch.
At this point something that’s always nice to do if not a little naughty, is save a bit of the warm jam mixture and while it’s still runny have it over icecream! Especially if you’re making your jam on a hot summers day!
Time now to take an increasingly bored whippet for a walk while the jam cools and sets!
Here are the lovely labels and jar toppers in the Katie Alice ‘English Garden’ design which I added when I got home back from a long whippet walk while enjoying a glass of rose in the sunshine!
This season along with lots of other baking products, there are some pretty jam making sets coming into the Katie Alice range. Labels and jar toppers like the one’s above and other Katie Alice designs on and a ‘Starter Kit’ including a jam thermometer, jars and lids and other bits and bobs to get you on the jam making wagon! Available from shops and the Creative tops website soon!
Happy jam making!