Jam-making - yum!

Thursday, 15 July 2010  |  Admin

Ok, just to be clear from the start that it's not a good idea for little ones to be in the kitchen for the actual jam-making bit. Hot sugar and kids is NEVER a good combination, but they'll love the raspberry picking and testing the jam at the end - when some Cheeky wipes come in very handy for mucky faces.
I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with the littl'uns yesterday after school. Wednesday is normally when we go to the local soft play Zoo for a couple of hours until tea-time, but we'd had soft play in the morning already.
I briefly considered hanging out at home, but decided to take a trip to our local pick your own fruit farm which is just up the road. I was really uncertain how it would go. Visions of raspberry smeared children, rolling on the ground because they were so full of stolen fruit did briefly cross my mind, but in the end I decided to go for it.
It was brilliant. The raspberry bushes were absolutely laden with fruit, big, juicy and very tasty. I armed each of the littlun's with a bag and set them to work, telling them that there was a prize for the person who could pick most fruit. They did amazingly, with the eldest picking 3 pounds, the middle one (who is only 3) picking almost 2 pounds and even the baby managed to pick almost half a pound - although hers were squashed because the bag was too big and she kept standing on it! And they didn't even steal that many either.
Laden down with over 4kgs of fruit we headed home and I banished the littl'uns to the play room out of harms way while I made the jam which took about 35 minutes start to finish. I used a recipe from Darina Allens's cookbook which was really easy:
1 kg raspberries1kg granulated sugar
Pre-heat oven to 180c. Put sugar on a large baking tray or roasting dish and place in the oven to warm for 10 minutes.Place a plate in the fridge to cool.Wash raspberries, drain, then place in your largest pot and mash a little.Heat the raspberries gently until the juice starts to run from them.Take your warmed sugar out of the oven and add to the raspberries, continue to warm gently until sugar is dissolved.Put your clean jars into the oven for 5 minutes to sterilize.Once sugar is dissolved, bring the raspberry to the boil and boil rapidly for about 5 - 10 minutes until it reaches setting point. You'll know the jam is set when you spoon a little onto your cooled plate and it wrinkles after a couple of minutes in the fridge.Pour into your sterilized jars and cover while warm.
I made my jam using 4kgs raspberries / sugar and it gave me 16 random sized pots as you can see above!

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