A Jam pickle of a situation.

I have spent quite a few hours of the last few days wandering around my garden and the fields, as one would expect. In doing so I have managed to collect a whopping amount of damsons, blackberries, and a large quantity of smallish (so far) cooking apples.

Damsons damsons everywhere  🙂

So yesterday I had a bit of a baking day.And I am going to share with you the recipes for the treats I made!

First up: Damson Jam. I quite like this jam, it has a nice tartness to it which I think compliments afternoon tea- scones, clotted cream and jam- really nicely. I highly recommend it.

If you get some nice jars this jam makes quite a nice gift for someone. Top the jam with some checked wax paper and string for a traditional spin on a thoughtful home-made gift!

You will need

  • 2.5lb damsons (I had 7lb but only had 2.5 lb of sugar at 9pm last night!)
  • 2.5lb sugar (I used jam sugar as my fruit was not all very ripe. You may not need it. Jam sugar contains pectin, which helps the jam set)
  • about 100mls or so of water
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2-3 Jam jars, well washed and dried. We will sterilise these before the jam goes in.
  1. Preheat oven to about 120*C. We will put the jars in here to sterilise them.
  2. Wash your fruit well and pick off any stems. Cos mine were like this 1st.
  3. Pop your fruit, water and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan (if you have one for jam all the better) and set over highish heat until it all begins to stew and boil.
  4. The skins will start to come off, the fruit will start to disintegrate. Stir it around and squish up the fruit as it stews.
  5. Getting to a great colour here.
  6. As stones come out of the fruit, you can pick them off with a spoon, preserving as much of the liquid as you can. This is tedious work, but has to be done!
  7. When most of your stones seem to have been picked out, and the fruit is all pretty uniform and gloopy, you may add your sugar.
  8. Stir until dissolved. Taste and make sure you don’t need any more- again, this depends on the fruit and how ripe it is. The riper fruit will not need any extra.
  9. Pop a sugar thermometer (my saviour) into the pan.
  10. I want a room this colour. It is brilliant.
  11. Pop your jars and lids (separately) into the oven after about 5 minutes. You want to keep them in there for about 5 minutes to sterilise them and reduce the chances of your jam going bad early.
  12. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the temperature. You want it to get to 220*F – or to where your thermometer says Jam (again, thermometer love)
  13. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test your jam by dropping a spoonful on a chilled plate, leaving it for a few seconds, and pushing it with your finger. If it wrinkles up, it’s ready to go!
  14. Be sure to keep an eye out for missed stones and skim them off as they float to the surface.
  15. Remove jars from oven.
  16. Skim the jam. Remove all this shtuff:
  17. Carefully pour the jam into the jars. It’s useful to trickle it down the side to avoid big splashes of hot jam, and it also prevents air pockets forming.
  18. Fill right up to the rim of the jar. Pop the lid on.

You are done! Some people pop the jars of jam in the oven for a few minutes to sterilise even more, but yesterday I was lazy, so I didn’t… Yup. Brutally honest.

Enjoy your jam on some lovely scones or as a traditional jam sandwich. School day memories, children hyped up on jam and white bread 🙂 Loverly!

    3 thoughts on “A Jam pickle of a situation.

    1. I’ve had the same experiences with picking fruit recently. We’ve had such a bumper crop because of the cold, cold winter. Silver lining and all that 🙂

      I’ve picked loads of cooking and eating apples, black cherries (in which I made black cherry conserve, recipe is on my blog) sloe gin (so excited to try this at Christmas) and blackberries, raspberries and today I found some crabapples and rosehips! Can’t wait to make some rosehip syrup- don’t suppose you know a good recipe do you?


    2. Pingback: Drinks for those hazy days of summer: Rhubarb lemonade « Cake in the country..

    3. Pingback: Rhubarb.... growing, caring for and eatingGreenside Up


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