Sunday, September 4, 2011

Raspberry jam

We had a second trip to Craigie's Farm to pick some more strawberries, together with some raspberries (which were not yet ready on our first visit). I was really enjoying picking the raspberries at a very leisurely pace, but made the mistake of bringing four over-enthusiastic helpers with me. While I was strolling up and down between the raspberry canes, picking only the very best fruit at a rate of about one berry per minute, they were galloping through the strawberry tunnel and came back with 5 kilos of the things, no less! They then applied the same treatment to the raspberries and within half an hour we had another 5 kilos of them. "You've got to take advantage while they're in season!" they chorused. I said nothing but groaned inwardly, thinking of the little red hen and her farmyard friends. At least they hadn't actually loaded her down with industrial quantities of wheat.

Sure enough, when we got back home my 'helpers' melted away, leaving me alone in the kitchen with an unfeasible amount of soft fruit. I churned out a couple of batches of strawberry jam, and also did a large (2kg) batch of raspberry, before reluctantly freezing the remaining rasps. And the next day, trying to get at least a token contribution to the whole process, I was flatly informed that writing labels was "boring". Well, I shall label them myself: "Tim's Solo Raspberry Jam".

1kg fresh raspberries
1kg sugar

  1. Put a dinner plate in the freezer. Sterilise your equipment: 4 x 1 lb jars and lids or 8 x 1/2 lb ones, a ladle and a jam funnel. I sterilise the jars by washing them then placing them upside down on the oven rack, setting the oven to 140oC and keeping them there for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Measure the sugar in to a heatproof bowl, and heat for 5 minutes or so in the oven.
  3. Put the raspberries in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat until the juices begin to run, then add the warmed sugar.
  4. Bring to a boil, skim, and boil for 5 minutes or so, until setting point has been reached. To test for set, drip a couple of drops of the jam onto the cold plate. Leave to cool for a few seconds. If it is ready, then the surface will wrinkle when you push the drop with your fingernail. (Or you can just stick your finger in it and see if it has a slightly sticky, jammy consistency rather than a syrupy one.)
  5. Remove pan from heat and leave to sit for 10 minutes before ladling the jam into the sterilised jars and sealing.

1 comment:

Madalen Goiria said...

Tim, I couldn't help laughing, mine are just like that, but aren´t they lovely? I dread the minute they tell me they´re coming along to the supermarket.