Making jam is often something that is defined by a seasonal glut of fruit and produce, a way of preserving those summer notes for the winter months. Sometimes though, we need a little fruity pick me up in the middle of those cold dark months and we never got round to capturing the abundance of ripe fruity goodness when we could. Luckily there are fruits available in the darkest depths of winter that make delicious jams. Mostly though, the ability to freeze berry fruit for just such a moment is what makes this delicious jam possible. Looking at a fruitbowl of nearly past it winter nellis pears and wondering what to make is what inspired this particular recipe. After burrowing through the freezer and unearthing a bag of raspberry crumbles and a long forgotten bag of goosberries the jam making began!
1 kg of jam raspberries
800gm of sugar
500gm of goosberries
4-5 overripe pears (any pears will do but unripe pears need far more cooking)
2-3 large green apples
6-8 medium sized jam jars – it always pays to sterilise a few extras
A note on sugar and pectin:
Many jam recipes rely on large ratios of sugar to make setting easier and to ensure the jam stays preserved. I find these jams too sweet and cloying and the benefits in longevity don’t outweigh the tradeoffs in flavour and sugar overload.The trick is to cook the jam long and slow until it is ready to set – only bringing it to a rolling boil at the end. Commercial pectin is avalable, but lemons and apples are a natural source. This blog post goes over this in details.
A note on sterilisation:
There are many ways to sterilise your jam pots, I am an expert on none. I use a dishwasher – and haven’t had a problem yet. There are really only two important things to ensure, one that your jam pots are hot when the jam goes in, this is to stop the jars from breaking, and two, that the jars are clean and sterile – heating them sufficiently does double duty. This article covers all of the basics.