Last weekend in the sunshine Simon and I went berry picking at Parkside Farm in Enfield, sensibly we arrived early, before the rush which was descending as we left at 11am!
Arriving home with a decent haul of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries I rolled my sleeves up for an afternoon of jam making. As ever I pulled out the preserving bible that is The National Trust Book of Jams and Preserves for guidance.
The bramble jam was a quick make, equal amounts of fruit and sugar plus the juice of two lemons, and was done in 20 mins. It is a delightfully tart jam and due to the short setting time still has large bits of whole fruit in it. In a blind taste test (which basically meant me feeding Simon breakfast) Simon rated this lowest of the three, but given that they are all delicious I think that sounds harsher than it should be.
The raspberry jam is easily my favourite, slightly sharp, very fruity and great texture (unless you’re the sort of weirdo who likes seedless jam), I left this to mingle with the sugar overnight before boiling and it really helped with the consistency. I’m also slightly partial to this as I potted it into some of my favourite jars…
The strawberry jam took four days to make, yup, 4 freakin’ days! But who am I to argue with The National Trust?
The first day you layer the fruit and jam sugar in a dish, cover and leave to soak, on day two you boil it for 5 mins, then cover and leave in the pan for another two days, on the fourth day you can finally bring to setting point, pot and cover.
So is it worth it? I would say yes, I got the best set I’ve ever had with this jam and Simon rated it top in our blind taste test, plus I would say the strawberries were not the best I’ve ever picked so definitely a success.
So that’s cream teas, victoria sponges, steamed puddings and a number of christmas prezzies sorted – shout now if you have a preference, I’m not sure how much will be left by then.