Irresistible Jam and Chutney
Make a batch for the perfect little gift.
Filling a shelf in the larder with homemade produce is one of the most satisfying accomplishments. A jar or two of these delightful gleaming gems will make a special gift to a loved one and will be all the more cherished because of the time and energy you have put in to making it yourself.
Dumpsy Dearie Jam
Delicious on hot buttered crumpets, muffins and scones.
- 2 lb Bramley apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 2 lb pear, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 2 lb plums, halved and stoned
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger
- 41/2 lb granulated sugar
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Place all the fruit in a large pan with just enough water to cover the base. Bash the ginger, tie in muslin, and add to the fruits. Bring to the boil, then reduce the head and simmer for 45 minutes, until the fruit is tender.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the lemon zest and juice. Bring to the boil and cook rapidly for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat and test to see if it's reached setting point (see below for method). If not turn the heat back up for a while and try again.
When it's ready, remove ginger and any scum that may have built up on top. Pour into sterilised jars (see below for method) and seal immediately.
Testing for Setting Point
There are several ways to test to see if the jam is ready. Of course by using a sugar thermometer is one—dip it first into hot water, stir the jam, then immerse the thermometer into it. Don't allow the bulb to touch the bottom of the pan. If the temperature is around 105°C (220°F), setting point has been reached. Another way is to spoon a bit of jam onto a cold saucer (place one in the freezer before you start) and if it wrinkles when you push it gently with your finger tip and turns Jelly-like, it's set. Another way is to dip in a clean wooden spoon and away from the heat, after a second or two tilt the spoon so that the jam drips. If the jam is almost set and the drops run together in large flakes, setting point has been reached.
Wash the jars in warm soapy water and place on a baking tray in a preheated oven (140°C) to dry and sterilise. Leave in the oven until you are ready to use them. Either use jars with plastic coated lids or seal with waxed paper circles (wax side down) and cellophane jam covers.
Spiced Apple Chutney
The perfect way to use up fallen and bruised fruit. Very easy to make and wonderfully accompany cheese, meats or savoury pies.
Makes about 1 litre.
- 400g cooking apples; peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 150g sultanas
- 250g demerara sugar
- 350ml cider vinegar
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
First, make sure you have some jars ready. You will need about 4 x 250ml jars, or equivalent. Wash in warm soapy water and place on a baking tray in a preheated oven (140°C) to dry and sterilise. Leave in the oven until you are ready to use them.
Just chuck all the ingredients into a medium sized wide pan and bring to the boil. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30–40 minutes, until nicely thickened.
Spoon into the jars, be careful not to get any on the rims and leave a half inch gap at the top; seal straight away. Leave to cool and check after a few hours to make sure it has sealed by pressing down on the top of the lid; if it doesn't pop back it has sealed.