Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Strawberry & Gooseberry Jam Recipe

Lately I've been making jam as the soft fruit bushes on our allotment are doing very well, infact a tad too well! It seems the fruit are all we are growing at the moment as the tomato plants are doing very well due to lack of sunshine, the runner beans aren't enjoying the large amount of rainfall and we've lost a few celery plants too. About the only vegetable that has been growing well are our spring onions which we stuffed in last minute and have grown very well without much care from us. But one of the fruit we are getting tons of are gooseberries and guess what... none of us like them!

On the plus side gooseberries are high in pectin whilst strawberries are low in pectin which make these two perfect together for making jam. So here's a simple recipe for you. I've not put in the amount as you can make as much as you like as long as you follow the basic rules.

We only made half a jar as we were testing out the recipe

- Strawberries (same weight of Gooseberries)
- Gooseberries (same weight of Strawberries)
- Sugar (the weight of the total amount of fruit, you can put slightly less in if you prefer)
- Sterilised Jam Jars

1. Wash your fruit under a cool running tap to remove any dirt. Remove all stems and cut the strawberries into halves, quarters if you have any big ones.
2. Put all the fruit into a pan (make sure it's a good size for when you add the sugar!) and boil.
3. Once boiling turn the heat down and check the fruit. The strawberries will probably take a bit longer as gooseberries tend to pop easily during cooking.
4. Once the fruit have pretty much disintegrated you can now add the sugar and bring to the boil again, mixing the sugar into the fruit.
5. When at boiling point turn the heat down. You can check if your jam is ready by placing a spoonful of it onto a plate. After a while on the plate you should find a skin on the top of it (just touch it with your finger or spoon to see the skin) and that means it's ready!
6. Once you are sure it is ready then you can begin placing your jam into your jars. I recommend using a jam funnel which you can buy from Wilkinsons (they sell loads of jam making stuff including all sorts of jars) to help you get the jam into the jars.

And there you have it, tasty jam! I bought the cheapest strawberries from Tesco as our strawberries all got eaten on our allotment so I kind of cheated. You can also add a drop of lemon if you wish but you don't have to. Kids love jam on toast and knowing what's inside the jam and how much sugar is inside is an added bonus. Enjoy!
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