Saturday, 24 September 2011

Jams again

I don't have a family and pets. I have yo-yo's. In, out, in, out... I really should learn to use a lasso, no'kiddin'.

My fridge and freezer are full of fruit - Damsons, more Damsons, Apples (various) Plums, pears, grapes plus stuff 14 year old (don't call me TOTS!) brings home.

Thanks Jamie Oliver. Not.


I have a super-efficient frost free fridge freezer, so the stuff in there will last over winter, if necessary. The downside is that the fridge keeps itself frost-free by keeping the air cold and dry. That means I have to make regular fridge checks for stuff like grapes and veg that don't have the moisture dried out of them.

Soft fruits such as grapes, plums and Damsons can end up like a grand-dads bum. Before I get a storm of protest, I'm reliably informed I may well be a Great-grandfather. As for the carrots - I'll keep my imaginative descriptions to myself. Ahum.


So what to do with the wrinkle's? Quick and easy is Jam. And yup, that includes veg too. Carrot jam is surprisingly nice, particularly if you throw in a handful of raisins. G'won, give it a shot.

Equal amounts of fruit to sugar. Jam needs pectin to set. You can get that from apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, damsons amongst others. You can buy pectin or Jam Sugar from a supermarket, but to me that defeats the object - the idea is to save money.

Put a saucer in the fridge. Put a jar and lid in the oven at about gas mark 1 - approx 100/120 C.

Boil the fruit in a couple of spoonfuls of water until it becomes watery and perhaps beat it to death with a potato masher :) Add your sugar and lemon juice. Boil it up until it comes to a froth. Turn it down. After about ten minuets, keep an eye on the side of the pan. Is it sticking?

Grab the saucer from the fridge. Put a spoonful on the saucer, and let it to cool. If you can shove it with your finger, and it's slow to spring back, it's set.

If you want to cheat, drop a couple of jelly cubes in it.

But that assumes you don't mind jam being a bit runny :)

When you're happy with it, pour it into the HOT jar and screw the lid on. Leave to cool.

The one I've made up from left-overs in the fridge today made about a pound of jam, and it ended up being slightly runny with big jammy lumps in it. Ok, it's not like a supermarket jam, but Bear says it's gorgeous.

I can't I'm diabetic. But if Paddington Bear says it's cool, hey, who's going to argue?

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