I get a fruit and veg box from Church Farm in Ardeley every week. They are overrun with a bumper crop of berries, this is obvious every week with the bundles of blackcurrants, gooseberries, red currants that arrive in my veg box. So I had quite a stock in the fridge and today I turned the 1 kg into 5 jars of jam 🙂
Feeling very proud of myself, here is how to do it yourself.
1kg of any berries, I used 250g of blackcurrants, 100g of gooseberries, 400g of red currants and made up the rest with plums.
Juice of 1/2 lemon.
400 ml of water.
1 kg granulated sugar.
You need to sterilise some jars, I found 5 old ones in the larder cupboard of stuff that has seen better days. Washed in boiling hot soapy water, removed lables. Then put on a baking sheet in a 140C/fan 120C/gas 1 oven until completely dry.
Put your fruit, lemon juice and 400ml water in a large wide pan. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes until the fruit is very soft and pulpy. Put a small saucers in the freezer (these will be used to test the setting later on).
Add the sugar and stir over a gentle heat for another 10 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. You don’t want it to boil at this point as the sugar could crystallize. Once you can’t feel or see any grains of sugar bring to the boil and boil hard for 10 minutes, skimming the surface as you go and stirring now and again to stop it catching.
Spoon a little jam onto a chilled saucer, leave to cool then run your finger through it. If it’s ready it will wrinkle up. If this doesn’t happen boil for another 5 minutes then keep testing and boiling until it does.
Do a final skim on the finished jam then pour into the sterilised jars and seal. Store in a cool dark place – the jam will be good for up to 6 months. Keep in the fridge once opened.
I think I’m going to make a few of these type of homemade products and give as gifts at christmas. The farm shop has done the same and charges £3.50 per jar of jam. So I’ve made myself £17.50 worth of jam with about £5 worth of fruit and a bag of sugar for £1.20.
If you live locally to Stevenage and Knebworth, consider a fruit and veg box, its superior quality, much better than Tesco’s/supermarkets. Its cheaper and it lasts longer. If you mention me when you order you might get an extra something thrown in 😉 I’ve met Tim the owner, who gave me a tour of the farm. And you can visit it for free.
Church Farm, Ardeley, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2 7AH, T: 01438 861 447