One of the highlights of last week was making Jam with my mum. The fruit was all hand-picked - the plums and apples were from our garden, and the Blackberries were from the hedgerows local to my parents. I must confess that I'm not really much of a baker, it's not something that really comes naturally, but I really rather enjoy making jam, especially because it means I get to spend lovely time with my mum and dad.We made Plum Jam first, in two batches, this was the recipe from mum's old cook book "the Dairy Book of Home Cookery"...
1.4kg (3lb) washed plums
450ml (3/4 pint) water
1.4kg (3lb) granulated sugar
(It also says to add 15g of butter - apparently it's to remove the "scum" from the top, but we did't really have any so we left it out)
Put Plums into saucepan and add water - we had already cut them up and removed the stones
Bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer gently until fruit is tender (about 15-20 mins, but I think we gave it a little bit longer than that)
Add sugar and stir until dissolved
Bring to the boil, and boil briskly or 10-15 mins (again I think we gave it a little bit longer) until setting point (we did the saucer test here)
Remove from heat (this is the point where you'd add your butter if you were going to)
Pot and cover - we did the usual sterilising thing here, wash the jars, pop in the oven to warm for about 20minutes.
Next we made Blackberry and Apple Jam, this time from mum's Jam and Chutney book
1kg (2.2lbs) Blackberries (we were a tiny bit short of that, but it didn't make any difference)
750g apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
1.5kg caster sugar (we used granulated and it was fine)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon (we left these out, and it's still yummy!)
Place the apples and blackberries in the pan, add the water (it doesn't look like much but don't add any more, it's plenty) and simmer for 10mins until fruit is soft
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. (Add the cinnamon and nutmeg now if you're going to) and boil for 20 minutes, stirring often until set (again, the saucer test works here)
Remove from heat, take off any scum and jar up.