Jam Jam Jam Jam!

A couple of weeks ago Edd (from Bake Off) and I attended a jam making session hosted by Stoves and the WI in London.  Jam is something I’ve only started doing properly this year, it always seemed the height of domesticity to me, which is why I never gave it a go!  Time on my hands and hoards of natures finest (and free) blackberries and damsons pushed me into it.
The session came at absolutely the right time, we had a ball being taught how to make jam properly.  Since then I’ve kept jamming and think we now have enough stashed in the garage to see us through till 2023!

What a way to finish today's @stovesuk jam event with @t... on Twitpic
Here’s a very proud me with my jam!

The session was to tie in with the WI Real Jam Festival 20-21 November being held at Denman College, Oxfordshire.  If you’re a master jam maker and would like to enter the competition you can find all the details here WI Real Jam Festival

So time to share with you the jam tips I learnt with my mix it up fruity jam.
Ingredients:
1kg mixed berries
(I’m using a mixture of fruits that were hiding in the freezer – cherries, blackberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants)1kg granulated sugar100ml apple juice
You will also need:
a large preserving pan, I don’t have one so I use my big stew pot, it needs to be really big!jam thermometer3 or 4  jam jars (I’m reusing old jars)
Place the sugar into an ovenproof bowl and place into a cold oven.

Remove the lids from the jam jars and place upside down onto the shelf in the oven alongside the sugar.

Turn the oven on to 130c/Gas Mark 1.
The reason behind placing them in a cold oven is that if you were to put them straight into a hot oven they may crack so let them heat up gently.
Place the fruit into your large pan, add the apple juice and over a low heat simmer until soft (approx 15-20 minutes).  The apple juice contains a good level of pectin which will help with setting and avoids the need for special jam sugar or the addition of commercial pectin.  This bit of simmering is important to soften the skins of the fruits if you don’t get them soft at this stage when you add the sugar it’s game over and the skins will go like leather.


When you’re sure the skins of the fruit are soft enough add the warmed sugar and stir until completely dissolved.  When the sugar is dissolved you won’t be able to feel it on the bottom of the pan when you stir and if you lift out the spoon to check, there will be no sugar granules visible.


Turn up the heat and boil on a rolling boil until the setting point is reached (106c).  Stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.


Turn off the heat and remove any frothy scum from the surface of the jam with a spoon.
Remove the jars from the oven, being careful because they are hot and fill with jam.  You need to fill them right to the very top.  I find the best way is to ladle it into a jug and use a jam funnel – I’m a bit messy at the best of times and this gets all the jam in the jar!

Remove any air bubbles from the surface of the jam using a teaspoon and finally secure the lids and allow to cool.


It’s difficult to accurately predict how many jars your jam will fill as a lot will depend on the fruits you are using and the cooking time needed always have an extra jar handy in case you end up with more jam than you anticipated!

If you’re into jamming or want to invest in a some jam making supplies here are some useful links:

Jam Thermometer – Cook in Style
Jam Funnel – Cook in Style
Set of 6 Preserving Jars – John Lewis
Preserving Starter Set – John Lewis

…and let me know if you’re entering the competition too!

Mix it up Fruity Jam


Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

Finalist on BBC2 The Great British Bake Off

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly
This entry was posted in Blackberry, Damson, In the Pantry. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Jam Jam Jam Jam!

  1. Janine, Cornwall says:

    That jam looks gorgeous, Ruth! Thank you for those useful tips. I've made jam a few times but never been entirely happy with the results. Your tips will hopefully mean I have better success next time and I am definitely going to invest in a jam thermometer and a proper jam funnel.

  2. Fiona Dobson says:

    I made 17 jars of plum jam on the 14th of September 2010 and it is disappearing quickly. It is so simple to make, that's the 2nd year I have made it. Everyone should give it a go.
    Love Fiona

  3. How To Be Perfect says:

    We're having our dream house built, we won't move till next year but when we do I will have a pantry! I cannot wait to fill it with jams and chutneys, your right it really is the height of domesticity x

  4. Barbara says:

    Autunm is the perfet season to prepar this delicious jams…
    Absolutely lovely.
    Barbara

  5. Victoria Plum says:

    I love making jam! Thanks for the tips!

    I'm off to my parents in the Cotswolds to pick up a load of blackberries they have stashed for me ready to make lots of JAM!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow i spent yesterday making Jam but had a bit of a problem with the setting. Never used Apple juice though!! Bought pectin an d it still not as set as I would like. I think the later strawberries were a bit watery!!
    Thanks for the tips Ruth. Today it is Picallili!!!!

  7. Kezia says:

    I've just brought a thermometer to try out the meringue buttercream, now I can use it for this as well! I guess using the thermometer cuts out the process of fiddling around with a frozen saucer and all that?
    Anyway, look delicious, I thought that the jam making season was over but evidently not!

  8. Debs says:

    Hi there Ruth. Great blog and I loved the TV show. Mary Berry's Victoria Sponge recipe and you and your bake-off colleagues inspired me and led to a prize winning cake at our village show, so thanks. I have a question for you on the use of frozen fruit for jam making – doesn't the increased water content change how the jam cooks? or is it just the same? Best wishes, D

  9. Gloria King says:

    Thanks for that Ruth – I have always been confused by the sterilising jar thing and you've explained it beautifully! I shall now make some lemon curd which is my favourite…

  10. Anonymous says:

    So far this year I've made plum jam, rhubarb & ginger jam, blackcurrent, blackberry & apple jelly all fruits coming form either my garden or from friends. green tomato chutney and runner bean chutney. Next on my list is Lemon curd.

  11. Ruth says:

    Hi Deb, The increased water from the frozen berries just seems to make the jam go further, still sets as normal. x

  12. RedSnapperUK says:

    I too love making jam but I remember reading / seeing on tv that you put in some butter and and that incorporates the scum into the jam. I just wish I could remember where I saw / read it!

  13. Janice says:

    I have to say I've made jam for years and never had to use a thermometer. I did buy one but found that the wrinkle test on a cold saucer worked best for me. Well done on your first jamming and many more years to come!

  14. Helen says:

    I make my Mum's Blackberry and Apple Jam recipe its so easy to start off with and I've never known it not to set. The best bit is apart from a bag of sugar its completely free!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I've been making chutney this year. Green bean is excellent with cheese and cold cuts. Peach chutney more of a festive season one. Pear chutney (I managed to secure some pears from friends) and today I am going to do some spiced plum chutney

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>