|Yours truly, putting the jam into jars. |
In a red apron, best for working with red fruit !
A relaxing and peaceful day off. I love working in the kitchen in this house. It keeps calling me to bake, cook, try new things. We have a fridge full of leftovers (having plenty of turkey leftover dinners here !). And also full of some stunningly beautiful fruit. Raspberries, red currants, blackberries, strawberries, rhubarb, dark cherries, apricots, nectarines. We also have on hand lemons, oranges, and a stray grapefruit and banana, plus a few kiwi fruit. This is my best jam making season, summer fruits are gorgeous. What jam I make is influenced by what is looking best and available in suitable quantity at the right fair price point.
|rinsed red fruit|
|bowls and measuring cup|
Had the radio on to hear the Ashes test Cricket on the ABC (I enjoy listening to test cricket on the radio) while I set about getting the work area ready for jam making. I have a very large stainless steel stockpot with a clear glass lid and a small tray for the bottom to hold the jars off the bottom of the pan. First thing is to get the water in that and start heating it. It takes the longest time to heat it to boiling and the jars then get boiled for 10 minutes to sterilise them. The same pot and boiling water will be used for the boiling water bath to process the jam once it is put into the jars. I have a smaller pot to use for sterilising the lids and rings. That one is kept on hand also for boiling water to dip a clean cloth in for cleaning off the edge of the jars before putting the lid on.
|towels & cloths: |
red is practical for handling fruit !
|Red raspberries, red currants, |
one lemon plus sugar
I have a fabulous hammered copper jam pan (Mauviel) . Fruit put into unlined copper must have sugar mixed in straight away. So I tipped in the sugar first, then topped it with the red fruit, and poured the lemon juice over the top. By now the jars and lids were into the boiling water to sterilise, so I turned on the burner under the copper pan. I mixed the fruit into the sugar and we were off and running !
|red fruit atop sugar, in copper jam pan|
|Jam heating up, on cooktop|
|Jam bubbles & foams up, |
I skimmed off the foam
|testing gel & set of the jam,|
freezer (spoon/dish) method
I use little dishes and small spoons put in the freezer for a freezer method set/gel test. I get one of each out of the freezer and carefully use another spoon to get a small bit of the jam mix and pour it into the spoon taken from freezer. Then the bottom of the cold spoon becomes room temperature, then I carefully pour the jam into the cold dish. And let it sit a minute or too, then run my finger through it to see if the trail stays separated or the surface wrinkles, both signs of a good set. Today I had to do 4 set tests in fast succession (2-3 minutes between). The last one I was pretty sure was it, so I turned off the heat under the jam pot. I was right, and so the jam pan rested for a few minutes, then got put near where I would jar the jam.
|Filling a jar with jam, |
One by one, I took a sterilised jar out of the hot water in stock pot, tipping the water back into the pot. The funnel gets put in the jar, next to the jam pan. I spoon the jam into the jar through the funnel. When full, I carefully wipe the edge with a clean cloth dipped in boiling water. Then place a lid and ring on the top. It is tightened to light finger tight, so air can escape during processing in the boiling water bath. Then the jar is returned to the stock pot, using the jar tongs. This process was repeated six times. When all six jars were in the stock pot and water, I turned the heat back up to bring it to boiling. And processed the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Each jar was removed from the boiling water bath in turn and placed carefully on a timber coaster to cool. In very quick succession, the jar lids popped as they cooled, indicating they had a good seal. Each will have a shelf life of a year (if they last that long !). When the jars were cool enough, I tightened the rings on them a bit more. And fixed small labels to each with date of the jam and a best by date of one year hence.
|Filled jar of jam being put|
in stockpot for boiling
water bath processing
|last bits of jam in the pan|
|Copper jam pan wash up|
|clean &ready for next batch !|
|Ashes Raspberry - Red Currant Jam|
The cricket had been going pretty well. So I decided to name this jam Ashes Raspberry - Red Currant Jam.
Looking forward to soon have studio space again for painting. To see recent progress on the last phase of the renovations, completion of the studio, see placeandtimedesign blog, where I post renovations news and progress.