My wife accuses me of being a creature of habit, something I strongly deny, and yet find myself making the same things at the same time every year, especially when it comes to jam. Now it happens I do enjoy making jam, every January I make Orange Marmalade, every September its Blackberry and Apple, and every July its Raspberry and Peach Jam. This year I thinking I might give her a surprise as I am planning an extra one for September. I have planted a row of Golden Raspberry’s from which I should get a crop this year, for which I am planning Golden Raspberry jam, or if I get enough I might go as far as Golden Raspberry Cordial. How about that for being spontaneous, though thinking ahead I don’t know how I will top that for Christmas.
Now as part of last Saturdays perfect day I made this years batch of Peach and Raspberry jam. A lovely jam which I have made for several years, perfect for breakfast and sublime with a cream tea, scones, clotted cream and jam. If you have never tried it making jam is very easy, and to start out you don’t need lots of fancy equipment, a pan, a spoon, a cooker, and some empty jars. Most homes can manage that.
For this you will need
1kg of Raspberry’s
1kg of peaches ( or nectarines if you prefer) I managed to get Saturn peaches, the flat ones that look like ring doughnuts
2kg of jam sugar
9 1lb jam jars
1. Put a small plate in the freezer, and put the clean washed jars into a cold oven,set the temperature to about 80 degrees and let them warm up slowly. this sterilizes the jars
2. Wash and dry the fruit, Put the raspberry’s into a large heavy bottom saucepan, or jam pan if you have one. Chop up the peaches into pieces, add to the pan with the sugar and stir. Beware when the jam boils it comes up the sides of the saucepan so make sure whatever one you use can cope with the mixture expanding by 2 or 3 times.
3.As you can see from the picture I like a chunky jam with lots of fruit pieces so I cut the peaches up into 6-10mm cubes,and then leave the whole mixture to stand for 12 hours. This firms up the peach pieces so they stay semi whole and chunky. If you don’t like yours this way just put it straight on the heat.
4. Slowly heat up over approx. 20 mins, don’t be in a rush, just enjoy the aroma and anticipation, resisting the temptation to stir too much. Add in the juice of one lemon and bring to what is known as a rolling boil. You will know it when you see it and continue to boil for 5 minutes, and then reduce the heat.
5. Retrieve your now very cold plate from the freezer. dab a little of the mixture on the plate and leave it to set for a short while. It will cool rapidly and you can see if the mixture will set by pushing it with your finger,it should start to wrinkle, if it doesn’t boil it some more and try again. Plan B is the scientific method, use a cooking thermometer and when the mixture reaches 105c (220F) its reached setting point. Plan B is probably better but not so much fun, and you don’t get to lick the plate.
6.When your satisfied you have reached the correct temperature, remove the pan from the heat and leave it for 10 minutes to cool slightly before spooning into your now warm jars. If you put the mixture into the jars straight away all the chunks of fruit float to the top, so you end up with the just red jam at the bottom of the jar. Whereas if you let it cool slightly, the mixture thickens and the fruit chunks remain distributed throughout. Seal the jars with a lid and its never a bad idea to put on a label.
7. Leave to cool overnight before trying