If there’s one thing we love more than seasonal fruit, it’s surplus seasonal fruit (which leads to making jam and preserves)!
So, let’s talk jam!
Jamming principals are fairly straightforward – though ratios/cooking times do seem to vary quite a bit, depending on who you ask.
If you keep to a 1:1 ratio of sugar to fruit (say: 1kg of apricots to 1kg of caster sugar), you’ll be ok – however, this does mean a very sweet jam, so make sure you try the fruit first and increase the acidity with lemon juice or citric acid.
You also need some form of pectin to help with setting – which is found naturally in high-pectin fruits like apples, pears and quinces, as well as apricot kernels and citrus rind.
Whatever fruit you choose, slice it into halves or quarters, then leave overnight covered with the sugar and any other flavouring you desire (like rosemary or vanilla) in order to help bring out the natural moisture; this will mean you don’t have to add extra water to the pot, which, as I learnt the hard way, will prevent the jam from setting.
The next day, bring the fruit to the boil on a medium heat and stir until all of the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice (about 2 lemons for every kg of fruit), your choice of pectin and bring to the boil on high. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.
You can test if the jam will set by popping a saucer in the freezer and spooning out some of the jam to see if a skin forms. If it does, you’re good to go.
At this point, pour the mix into sterilised jars, seal and allow to cool.
These will keep in a cool, dry place for at least a year (if you can keep them for that long). Refrigerate after opening.
Check out our fruit and veg traders to organise your fruit here.