"I made two small jars of raspberry and gooseberry jam last week. I gave one to my sister and the other I kept. I haven't been able to stop eating it - it's so delicious!"
The alchemy of jam is one of life's simple pleasures. With just two ingredients and a bit of patience, you've got the basis of breakfasts, puddings, and even (if you're feeling a bit generous) a lovely gift. Here are our favourite recipes from the forums, from your basic blackcurrant to a slightly more exotic Persian quince.
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500g cooking apples
1/4 litre water
Granulated sugar (weight to be assessed during cooking)
- Wash and de-talk damsons.
- Chop up apples leaving skin on.
- Place damsons and water in a very large saucepan and bring to boil.
- Add chopped apples.
- Boil gently until fruit is soft and the pips are separating from fruit.
- Put all fruit through a colander to remove pips and skin, leaving a fruit puree.
- Weigh fruit puree and add the same weight of sugar (discard pips and skins)
- Mix sugar in well.
- Bring puree to the boil, and boil gently for about 15 minutes, or until a small amount of jam "wrinkles" a few minutes after being dripped on to a cold plate.
- While the jam is boiling a froth will form on the surface which should be spooned off and discarded.
- Also while the jam is cooking, warm clean dry jam jars ready to fill, seal and label.
1.4kg granulated sugar
- De-string and wash the blackcurrants.
- Put them in a bowl and prick the currants with a fork - enjoy yourself at this point and let yourself go - it is good if each one is punctured!
- Mix in the sugar with the blackcurrants.
- Cover and leave overnight.
- Next morning, add them to a pan and heat gently until the sugar is all dissolved.
- Boil for three minutes and no more - no need to test for setting.
- Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
- Stir to distribute the fruit and pot in the usual way.
1.5 kg jam sugar
Juice of 6 fresh limes
2 tbsp rose water
- Wash and peel quinces.
- Remove hard middle core and cut into thin slices.
- Put fruit into large saucepan, add enough water to cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
- Add sugar, continue to cook over low heat for three hours. The mixture will become quite thick and will turn a very dark red.
- Test for setting, when this is achieved (it could take another 45 minutes). Add the lime juice. Cook for another five minutes, add the rosewater and jar up.
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225g dried Apricots
- Soak dried apricots overnight.
- Core but do not peel apples and cut into large pieces.
- Drain apricots and cook apples in water left from soaking until they are mushy.
- Sieve the apples and to each pint of apple 'pulp', add 340g sugar.
- Boil apricots and apples together until set reached. Put into jars.
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