Do: Pick your own Jam

‘It’s a bit late in the season, you’ll be lucky to find any” we were told as we collected our empty punnets and embarked on our pick your own adventure.

After some groveling in hedgerows we emerged a kilo of raspberries heavier and had impressed our host with our determination. We visited Whetstone Pastures farm set in a beautiful part of the south Leicestershire countryside.

After a busy morning fruit picking in the sunshine we headed home to make late picked raspberry rhubarb and stem ginger jam.

I’m quite a fan of this flavour combination, this jam is like a little piece of summer captured in a jar to help me through the cold winter months. To make 14  jars of our rhubarb raspberry and stem ginger you will need:

  • To pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees c
  • 14 250ml- 300ml capacity jam jars and lids- or thereabouts, saving and recycling your old ones makes jam making much cheaper than buying them specially!
  • 1kg raspberries
  • 1kg rhubarb
  • 2kg sugar- I used a mix of granulated and preserving sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • A large pan to cook it all in-my 5 litre pan was just about large enough!
  • A jam thermometer. I really recomend investing in one of these as they provide the most accurate way to measure the setting point of your jam and are available fairly inexpensively.
  • a measuring jug
  • stem ginger diced into small chunks.
  • silicone paper circles, cut to the size of the mouth of your jam jars.

These quantities do make rather alot of jam. The basic rule is equal quantities of fruit to sugar.

Wash your freshly picked fruit to get rid of any beasties that may be lurking.

Place the rhubarb and sugar into your large pan with a splash of water and simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring regularly until the rhubarb is soft. Add your raspberries and attach your jam thermometer to the side of your pan, turn up the heat a little to bring the mix to the boil. Stir regularly and keep a close eye on your jam thermometer, cook the jam until it reads 104 degrees c (This will be clearly marked on your thermometer with a red arrow as ‘Jam’!) This takes around 35-40 minutes.

Take your jam of the heat as you prepare your jars.

Thoroughly wash your jars and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse clean and place the jars on a baking tray. Transfer the tray into your pre-heated oven for 5-10 minutes. Scoop off and discard any froth that may have settled on the surface of the jam with a spoon- these are impurities from the sugar and may crystallise as the jam cools down in the jars.

Decant the jam into the measuring jug and pour strait into the prepared jars while they are still hot. Sprinkle in a few pieces of chopped stem ginger (These will sink into the jam as it sets) place a silicone paper circle onto the top of your jam to create a seal and then screw the lid tightly onto the jam jar.

Adding the jam to the jar whilst both are still hot creates an airtight vacuum, sealing the jam as it cools preventing any bacterial contamination (ie mould!) Leave your jam jars to cool completely- I left mine overnight.

And now you have jam!

Delicious spread liberally over toast, crumpets or scones. These make brilliant presents too  i’m planning to send these out at Christmas (Yes i’m starting my Christmas prep now! Is that a little sad?) If sealed properly will last 6-8 months stored in a cool dry place.

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11 thoughts on “Do: Pick your own Jam

  1. kerrycooks says:

    Fantastic! Well done, the jam looks lovely, will you be giving some away for christmas presents?

    • makedospend says:

      Thank you! Yes i’m working on a home made Christmas this year and trying not leaving the shopping until the last minute, thats the plan at least………!

  2. bakearama says:

    Wow looks fab! I’d love to try making some jam… is it as difficult as it’s made out to be?
    I’ve also heard recommendations to buy a special jam pan as it can ruin normal ones, did you find this to be the case?

    • makedospend says:

      B and I made a cherry Jam one evening recently. It was delicious, but it didn’t quite set because we didn’t boil it to the correct temperature. I think thats the key, as long as you get the temperature right it’s mostly a case of just throwing it all in the pan and stirring. I used a cheap stainless steel pan I bought from the pound shop which survived unscathed!
      I definitely recommend giving it a try,

  3. platformpieces says:

    That jam looks absolutely delicious!

  4. […] people as gifts, these will be part of my christmas hampers I started working on last week with my rhubarb and raspberry jam. Each envelope will contain 10 little seeds to be planted in the recipient’s […]

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