Making jam need not be owned by those who have the time and patience to collect fruit from hedgerows and have the specialist equipment. In fact, it’s easier than you think. If you want to fake it as a domestic goddess and perhaps pop a jar in a personalised afternoon tea hamper for Christmas, then read on……
2 bags of frozen raspberries ( I used 2 x 500g frozen raspberries from Lidl , £1.85 per bag)
1 bag of sugar with pectin ( I used a 1kg Silver Spoon sugar with pectin from ASDA £2.27)
Juice of half a lemon
A knob of butter
6 1/2lb glass jars with metal lids ( I had more ready just in case, including some smaller jars in case of leftovers)
6 greaseproof circles the same diameter as your jars ( I got some from Wilko)
6 cellophane circles, approx. 4 cm wider than your jars ( in the same pack from Wilko)
Elastic bands ( in the same pack from Wilko)
Labels ( Sticky labels in the WIlko pack but I’d used them up already so I used some others)
Optional fabric circles ( twice the diameter of the jars) and ribbon
REMEMBER: JAM HAS A HIGHER BOILING POINT THAN BOILING WATER SO TAKE CARE.
I WEAR RUBBER GLOVES TO PROTECT MY HANDS AND WRISTS FROM SPLASHES, ESPECIALLY WHEN FILLING THE JARS.
Take the raspberries out of the freezer.
Put a couple of saucers in the freezer for later so you may test your jam.
Remove any labels from the jars. I peeled off as much as I could then used the wonderful sticky stuff remover. Whatever was left then washed off under a hot tap.
Wash the jars in a dishwasher or wash in very hot soapy water and rinse.
Put the jars, with their lids, on a baking tray and put them in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
Put the raspberries in a large pan on a low heat. It doesn’t matter if they’re still semi-frozen. I don’t have a jam-making pot so I just used the biggest pan I’ve got.
Stir the raspberries and you’ll see some water starting to come out of them.
Use a potato masher to turn the berries into a thick, liquid gloop and keep stirring as you go along.
Pour in the sugar with the added pectin and stir. The added pectin is a natural acid which is found in many fruits. Pectin is a natural setting/ gelling agent. Raspberries don’t have very much pectin so the added pectin helps the jam to become semi-solid instead of being a sauce.
Turn the heat up slowly so you see bubbling around the edge of the pot This helps all of the sugar to dissolve – you don’t want gritty jam.
As the bubbles increase to become a rolling boil, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, stir and then add a knob of butter. This stops the jam from bubbling too madly.
Remove the jars from the oven. Take care- they’ll be hot!
Allow the jam to come to a rolling boil and time for 4 minutes. Stirring all the time.
Turn off the heat.
Take a cold saucer from the freezer and put a teaspoonful of your freshly made jam onto it. Let it cool for a few minutes. Then, push it with a finger and it should wrinkle on the surface and be semi-solid. It will become more solid after setting in the jar later so don’t worry if it’s still a bit runny. If you forgot to put a saucer in the freezer then don’t worry. Just use one from the cupboard- it’ll just take a little longer to cool.
Use a ladle to pour jam through a funnel into each jar until approximately 1 cm from the top and wipe any drips.
Put a greaseproof circle on the surface of each jar of jam.
Put a cellophane circle across the top of each jar and elastic band in place.
Screw the lids on tightly.
Add a label- type of jam and when made.
Add a fabric circle, elastic band in place and tie with ribbon.
Your jam will keep for months. Once opened, keep in the fridge.
NEVER, EVER TELL ANYONE HOW SIMPLE THIS IS – LET THIS BE OUR SECRET!