Last year for my birthday my parents gave me the chance to go on a jam making course. The experience was such fun that I was very keen to make my own jam. Sadly last year I was too late to pick my own fruit, but last week I went to a ‘pick your own’ fruit farm ready for my jam making.
The first time I ever made jam was when I was four. I went on holiday to Ireland and went blackberry picking with my cousins. I remember the jam I made was the best thing I had ever tasted. I think it was the freshness of those blackberries.
Making jam when you have picked your own fruit means its fresher and makes better jam. This year the raspberry crop was the best. The blackberries are now starting to be ready to be picked. I picked and made raspberry , strawberry and blackberry jam .
My tip is to only make a kilogram of jam at a time which is 6 jars of jam. If you make it in this amount I find that it is easier to control the temperature, and all the jam I have made has set really well. Also make the jam as soon as possible after you have picked the fruit.
I loved the raspberry jam the best.
Recipe for raspberry jam:
- 1 kg raspberries
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 pack of jam sugar (1 kg with pectin added)
- Before you start making the jam, sterilise your jars. Put into the oven on 180°(fan) for 30 mins. After 30 mins take the jars out of the oven and leave to dry. Also put a plate in the freezer or fridge to cool (this will be used to test if the jam has set).
- Tip half the raspberries into a preseving pan and add the lemon juice. Mash the berries to a pulp with a potato masher, then cook for 5 mins.
- Tip the cooked berries over a sieve. Once all the juice has drained off , firmly work the pulp through the sieve until you are left with the seeds only.
- Tip the juice back into the preserving pan and over a low heat stir in the sugar. Then add the remaining raspberries and bring to the boil.Boil for 5 -7 mins (make sure you stir occasionally this will stop the sugar crystallising around the side of the pan).
- Spoon a teaspoon of jam onto the cold plate and put back into the fridge for 2 mins. The jam will be ready if it wrinkles when you push a spoon into it. If it does not, boil again for another 3 mins (I find it needs an extra 3 mins).
- Once ready take off the heat. Get a small piece of butter and stir it into the jam, this stops a skin forming when the jam is cooling.
- Leave to cool for 30 mins stirring occasionally. Once cooled poor into the jars and leave to cool for another 30 mins . Then put a ring of parchment paper the size of the lid to stops a skin forming. Then put the lids on.
- Unopened store in a cupboard and once opened store in the fridge.