J is for …

August 13, 2011 at 7:41 am 6 comments

… jam making.

There’s something about chopping, boiling and stirring that I find so relaxing.
We’re not big jam eaters but from time to time a fruit glut warrants the making of something sweet (and jam making is much speedier than chutney making).  My jam making has been limited to damson jam previously but this week I dabbled with plum jam using fruit long forgotten in the back of the freezer and this lovely greengage jam made using Henri’s fruit from the allotment.  I have several preserve books but only one, Clearly Delicious, contained a greengage recipe, so here it is.

to make Greengage Jam

2 kg greengages
450 ml water
1.8kg sugar

  • Halve and stone the greengages and check their weight (should have about 1.8kg stoned fruit).  Crack a few stones, take out the kernels and soak in boiled water for a minute. Drain and transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain again and rub off the skins.
  • Put greengages, kernels and water into a pan and bring to boil.  Lower heat and simmer, stir occasionally for 30-40 minutes or until skins soft and fruit tender and mixture in the pan has reduced by about one third.
  • Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until completely dissolved.
  • Increase heat and boil rapidly, without stirring for 10 minutes or until it reaches setting point (104°c/220°F) or remove from the heat and test with a cold plate.
  • Lightly skim off any scum from the surface of the jam before pouring into warmed sterilized jars to within 3mm of the tops.  Seal and label.
  • 2kg of fruit makes about 2.25 kg (5lb).  My 700g of fruit produced 4 jars of jam.

ps.  The recipe recommended using a brass or copper pan but who has one of those in their cupboard?  Apparently greengages and gooseberries discolour when cooked in a stainless steel pan.
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Entry filed under: A-Z challenge, home life.

I is for … K is for …

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mal  |  August 13, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I’m jealous,..

    Reply
  • 2. JohannaGGG  |  August 15, 2011 at 3:29 am

    I would make jam more if I loved eating it more – it is a nice occasional treat and good for baking! When you said about the pan for making jam it reminds me of my mum’s huge pots that would probably not even fit on my stove – but It think they are steel of some sort

    Reply
  • 3. Nip it in the bud  |  August 17, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Mal – but you have a bumper crop of peas! I’d trade all my jam for some of your peas.

    Johanna – whatever did people use those enormous pans for. Probably not for making mountains of jam, more like boiling up their washing! Aren’t we lucky that domestic chores leave us with more time for leisurely pursuits like jam making in the modern world!

    Reply
  • 4. Brenda  |  August 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I made some damson jam last month.
    Thank goodness I had some help skimming all the stones out!

    Reply
  • 5. fiona mayhem  |  August 30, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I love jam making, and now I want a copper pot to cook my gooseberries and greengages in. Can you even get them these days?

    My J is for job, and about how I need to get a new one soon. Although not too soon, so I have some time to make the chutneys and jams that I am dreaming about.

    Reply
  • 6. Nip it in the bud  |  September 3, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Bren – I’ve just made my batch for this year and you have to add a good hour to your time to deal with stones!

    Fiona – I’m not sure you can and I don’t think my jam suffered for being in a non-copper pot.
    Preserve making can very easily become a full time job. When I took some time out from work I even considered the viability of a little stall at the Farmers Market (soon quashed by the fact I’d never get a license for making food in a house inhabited by 3 cats!)

    Reply

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