It's the preserving season again, as you have seen in some previous posts we have managed to forage some wild fruit so this has all had to be dealt with and a lot of it goes towards jam making. We found a wild tree which produces huge apples and the smell of these freshly picked wild apples filled my house with a beautiful fresh apple smell not usually found in the supermarket ones.
We have used the simplest possible recipe for jam probably used for generations, which is use the same amount of sugar to fruit ratio. So if you use a kilo of fruit you use a kilo of sugar, very simple. The fruit is put in a large pan and enough water added to reach the top of the fruit, then add sugar and boil. We use a jam thermometer to monitor the temperature and the pan must be stirred regularly, when it thickens you can test set-ability by putting a little on a plate you have had in the freezer. After a few minutes on the cold plate the jam gets a skin or rucks up when you run your finger through it, this means it is ready to jar up. Don't forget to sterilise the jars, this is a very important step and fill the jars whilst hot as this helps to seal the jar.
This year we have made our blackberry jam seedless and as you can see in the above photograph the apple is added for pectin to help the jam set. Some fruit like apples and plums have a lot of pectin but berries do not, this is why we added apples. To make seedless we first cooked the blackberries for a few minutes until they were soft, mashed them and strained them through muslin or straining bag. Then returned the strained mixture back to the pan with the apples and sugar to continue the jamming process.
These are some of our jams as you can see people have started to eat some already and a jar of wild plum has already gone and the next jar started, looks like a jar of the blackberry is nearly finished too this one is my son's favourite. The apple jam is always very useful in this house, it is used all winter as cake fillings, especially apple turnovers. The plum and the blackberry jams have beautiful bright jewel like colours and they looked lovely on the jam drops we recently made.