Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Jamming and Preserving

Clockwise: Plums, damsons, tomatoes & blueberries

Damson jelly, Plum jam and Blueberry jam

Damson jelly, Plum jam and Blueberry jam

I've had some great jam making sessions. The farmers market awash with autumn berrries and fruits. Including one of my favourites, damsons. The blueberries were on offer, 2 punnets for £1.50. All that you see in the this image cost £15 and I made 15 jars. Plenty of Christmas presents and all the jam we can eat throughout the winter.

The plum jam was really excellent. The recipe called for the addition of the plum kernal near to the setting point. A kernal? I didn't know there was a kernal in a plum; when I cracked the stone and to my childish astonishment found a fat pip of a kernal. What a revelation! On further investigation I have found that, as with almonds, applepips and apricot kernals, these seeds contain mild and safe does of cyanide. Check out The Little Cyanide Cookbook: Delicious Recipes Rich in Vitamin B17.
The Little Cyanide Cookbook: Delicious Recipes Rich in Vitamin B17

The plum jam is possibly the nicest jam I have ever made. The addition of adding the plum kernals helps the setting. As they are such an interesting taste, I left the pips in. The recipe was very easy, although quite time consuming in extracting the kernals.

Tomato and chili jam is a fridge staple, which transforms virtually anything into a tasty snack. Especially chicken, pork, halloumi, avocado, eggs or any combination of these with rocket in a sandwich. The following recipe is from Peter Gordon. A friend challenged me to a tomato and chili jam taste off. I was reasonably confident in Peter's reliable recipe until he told me he used Skye Gyngell's Roasted Tomato & Chili Jam; there I had to concede the challenge. Without even tasting it, there's no doubt that roasting the tomatoes are going to produce an easy to imagine superior result............ next time.

Here are the 3 recipes for my jamming sessions

Plum Jam
  • 1kilo plumbs (stoned weight)
  • 1 kilo granulated sugar
  1. De stone the plums and cut up.
  2. Crack open the stone and reserve the kernal.
  3. Simmer the plums in a pan. If the plums are not ripe add enough water to poach until soft.
  4. Add the sugar and heat slowly until melted fully and bring to the boil, add the kernals as the mixture comes to setting point.
  5. Transfer to hot clean jars.
Damson Jelly

This jelly is essential for your game cooking. Especially good addition to gamey sauces.
  • Damons
  • Sugar
  1. Simmer the damsons in a pan until soft
  2. Push through a seive and throw away the stones.
  3. Weight the pulp and add the same weight in sugar.
  4. Bring to the boil until setting point is reached.
  5. Add to hot and clear jars.
Tomato and Chili Jam
  • 500gms ripe tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6cm ginger
  • 4 red chillies
  • 30ml fish sauce
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 300gms soft brown sugar
  1. Wash the tomatoes and roughly chop half of them
  2. Peel and chop the ginger, peel the garlic, wash and chop the chillies
  3. Blitz the roughly chopped tomatoes, garlic, ginger, chili with fish sauce and vinegar.
  4. Finely chop the other half of tomatoes and reserve.
  5. Slowly heat with the sugar and bring to the boil.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes.
  7. Simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes until the jam looks thick.
  8. Transfer to clean and hot glass jars.

1 comment:

  1. The plum jam sounds fabulous, maybe next week I'll remember to order extra plums with my organic box.

    I made damson jam the other day too, gorgeous used in crumbles too:


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