Friday, 11 October 2013

I am the Self Preservation Society

...otherwise entitled I'm Jammin, I'm Jammin, I'm Jammin. I'm Jammin. I hope you like Jammin too? I've been busy in the kitchen preserving the Autumn harvest. 44 jars so far...

  • Rosehip & Apple Jam
  • Bramble Jelly
  • Bramble & Apple Curd
  • Bramble & Apple Jelly
  • Rowan, Apple & Rosemary Jelly
  • Plum & Vanilla Jam
  • Spiced Apple Jelly

Bramble Jelly was the first to be made. No real recipe to share I'm afraid as I just kind of wing it as far as jelly is concerned. Use enough water to just cover the brambles and simmer until juicy and pulpy. Drain overnight through a jelly bag (hockey stick optional) and add 1lb of jam sugar for every pint of juice. Heat slowly until sugar is dissolved then bring to the boil until setting point is reached. Pour into cooled, sterilised jars and seal.
Parentals arrived for the weekend armed with a basket of cooking apples so they were roped in to a full scale production line of preserves and I put a shout out to my local friends for additional empty jam jars. They answered my plea and will be rewarded jammily.
Bramble and Apple Jelly was next. I did a half and half mix of fruits. No need to peel or core the apples as the jelly bag does all the hard work. Wasn't sure what the pectin levels would be like so I used half jam and half granulated sugar to be on the safe side. I bought a sugar thermometer earlier this year after a fudge failure so used it in addition to the cold saucer and wrinkle test.
Whilst out picking brambles we couldn't help but notice the amazing crop of Rosehips. Huge berries and an amazing spectrum of colours from orange through to deep red. I've since been told on Twitter that these are also know as "Itchy Bombs". Apparently naughty children have been know to split them open having the seeds tipped down your back is somewhat itchy. 
It was my intention to make a clear jelly with these but they are so seedy that even with the addition of apples hardly any juice came through the jelly bag. Back to the drawing board and I sieved the pulp and made a Rosehip & Apple Jam. Not quite sure how to use the result to be honest so will have to experiment. Interesting, but not unpleasant, flavour. The jury is out so to speak.
I've already shared the tale of Professor Plum in the Kitchen with the Jam Pan so I'll not take up any further space telling you about my 14 jars of Plum and Vanilla Jam. Suffice to say its affa good with a bannock.
Girl's middle name is Rowan so much excitement when I said we could make some jam from "her". An amazing crop of berries on the trees. I was unsure how tart the resulting jelly would be so added some apple to the mix and sprigs of Rosemary for extra flavour. Really pleased how it turned out. Fantastically good with cold meats or cheese and a gorgeous colour.
Spiced Apple Jelly is one of my must make gifts for Christmas and it went down very well last year. Had clearly given up taking photos by this point as there are none of it being made. But here's the recipe. It works well as a savoury accompaniment to meats and cheeses but also sweet enough to be good on toast.

SPICED APPLE JELLY
2lb Cooking Apples chopped (no need to core or peel)
2 lemons sliced
1oz Ginger Root chopped
Cinamon Stick
1/2 tsp Cloves
Sugar - 1lb for every pint of juice.

Place everything bar sugar in a large pan with 3 pints of water. Bring to the boil and simmer until apples are very soft. Anything up to an hour. Strain overnight in a jelly bag. Don't push it through or you will get a cloudy result. Add sugar to the resulting juice, dissolve over a gentle heat and bring to a boil until you reach setting point. 

So that's pretty much it on the preservation front this year although I still quite fancy doing mint jelly and surprisingly haven't made any chutney yet. If anyone local in Aberdeen/shire has a glut of fruit/veg in their garden I would still happily take it off your hands and make even more!

3 comments :

  1. Great post and some smashing recipes. You really try some chutneys too. As I don't have a very sweet tooth, I think I prefer chivvying the chutney, to pumping up the jam...

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  2. I'm so envious! Spiced apple jelly sounds awesome. Wish I had made more jams!

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  3. I'm in shock that those little "itchy cubes" we used as a childhood torture device are actually Rosehips!? Thanks for the info! I've been keen to make a Rosehip Cordial for some time & now I know where to source them from.

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