How to…make jam?
The warmer months provide a bounty of delicious fruit and vegetables. Nothing’s better than biting into a perfectly ripe peach or generously piling your breakfast bowl with strawberries and raspberries. Spending a little time in the kitchen preserving fruit now means you can savour summer long after the sun’s warmth has left your skin and the last grains of sand have been shaken out of your shoes.
How to…sterilise jam jars?
Sterilise jars by washing thoroughly and placing them in a 120 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Leave the jars in the oven to stay warm until fruit is added. They’ll crack if boiling fruit is added to a cold jar. Be careful to handle with tongs and oven mitts to keep them ultra clean and keep a scalded cloth to wipe any excess from the sides of the jars. Sterilise lids in a pot of simmering water.
How much…sugar do I need?
Jams are simple to make, and you can adjust the sugar content to reduce the sweetness. Sugar preserves the fruit so it can’t be removed entirely although sweeter fruits require less.
Jams without the usual 1:1 ratio of sugar to fruit will be runnier and will need to be stored in the fridge once opened.
How to…preserve stone fruit?
To preserve stone fruit like peaches, apricots and nectarines, place sterilised jars into a water bath and bring to the boil.
Scald whole fruit to remove the skin (for peaches), slice into quarters or eighths and fill the jars. Create a simple sugar syrup – use less sugar for a lighter syrup. Fill the jars with syrup to cover the fruit and tightly seal with a new sterilised seal.
Return jars to the water bath, fill with water to cover the jars completely and bring to the boil for about 25 minutes. Remove and leave on a bench to cool. After a couple of hours, the centres of the lids should be concave to indicate they’ve properly sealed.