Friday, April 10, 2009

Mixed berry jam

Greetings to everyone on this Good Friday, the holiest of holidays in the Christian calendar. I hope that you and your families are having a relaxing break.

I have moved out of my Melbourne apartment and I am currently "homeless", in that my furniture is in transit who knows where, and I have no keys to my apartment at the other end. I won't call it my "new" apartment, because I have lived there before - it is more of a homecoming, although I have lived in it over two stints that total less than the time I lived in Melbourne.

It hadn't been part of my life plan to come "home" yet, so over the summer, I busily stocked up on berries while they were cheap and plentiful and froze them to last me over the long, grey, cold, non-berry season. When I had to move, I knew I couldn't just take the frozen berries as is with me (which is such a shame!). However, I couldn't bear to part with my hard-won berry booty, so I decided to make jam with it. I was awfully surprised at how many berries I had stored - I had over a kilo of them in 125g punnets!

Here are my beautiful berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) sitting in the pot waiting to be transformed into jam:

and here is the jam mid-"rolling boil" before it reached setting point:

In theory, jam making is easy - boil up equal parts of jam and sugar together with the juice of a lemon until it reaches setting point, then pour into sterilised jars and seal. However, I have never been able to get the setting point right. Of course, this was only the second time I have tried to make jam (if you discount my failed attempt at making microwave chilli jam), and both times I have overboiled the jam, so that I end up with a very thick, if very delicious, paste that is rather hard to spread easily without warming it first. Oh well, it helped me to preserve my precious berries so that I can continue to enjoy them in my new home. I also figure that too thick is better than too thin - who wants to put berry coulis on their crumpet?

Happy Easter everyone!


Mary said...

Looks great!

natalia said...

Ciao !! I wish you an happy moving back with this wonderful jam !! I really wish it was easy to invite you over for dinner ! Happy Easter too !

A_and_N said...

Nice way to celebrate moving in :)
You didnt add any pectin? Thats pretty cool!

And whats up with the Aussie cricket team? they arent supposed to be beaten like this by S.A!

Astra Libris said...

Homemade jam is SO awesome!! I'm quite impressed - I've only made small batches before, and thus never sealed and jarred it properly! I like the idea of a thicker version - sounds like it would be lovely over vanilla ice cream! :-)

Elyse said...

Happy Easter! You know, I've never made jam before, but I totally want to try it now. Your mixed berry jam looks totally delicious!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the move! Your jam sounds yummy.

Anonymous said...

I never had the patience or know how to make homemade jellies or jams because I'm always afraid the jars would explode, or I would end up poisoning people due to not enough Kudos to your beautiful jam, I'm awed!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Mary :)

Thanks Natalia - Happy Easter to you too.

Hi A&N, no pectin - just the pectin in the lemon juice. That cricket team, I don't know - perhaps their eye was off the ball ;)

Hi Astrid, I had a small amount left over that wouldn't fit into the jars, so I used it to fill cakes. So much easier than stuffing around with jars!

Happy Easter Elyse! The traditional formula is just 1:1 fruit to sugar, plus the juice of a lemon, then bring to a rolling boil until it reaches setting point (ie when you put a blob on a chilled plate and run your finger through the middle of it, it stays put).

Thanks Pinkstripes!

Hi LisaMichelle, me and my microwave have some stories to tell about the jar sterilisation process - ahem, but we won't mention them today ;)

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Wow, well done! I wouldn't have been able to leave berries behind either. They're so precious (and not to mention expensive!) and I think this is a great use of them :)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Lorraine, I know what you mean about the expensive part - and this is not ideally what I would have liked to do with the berries, but so much better than not doing anything at all. Anyhoo, it's good jam.

The Caked Crusader said...

It would have been heartbreaking to let such gorgeous berries go to waste. Your jam looks lovely - while I don't enjoy making jam I do love that rich fruity smell you get when it starts to boil.