Making Jam is incredibly easy and you don’t need any special equipment. This could also be a great gift at Christmas time, as we all appreciate a home made present.
300g/10½oz fresh blackcurrants
300g/10½oz granulated or caster sugar
1 small lemon, juice only
- Pick all the stalks from the blackcurrants, place the fruit in a saucepan, cover with 250ml/9fl oz water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the skins of the currants are very tender and the liquid has almost evaporated.
- Add the sugar and lemon juice, bring to the boil then cook until the mixture reaches105C/220F if you have a sugar thermometer, or boil rapidly and keep checking for a set. You can do this by putting some saucers in the freezer, and then spoon a small amount of boiling jam onto the chilled plate, allow to cool, and if when pushed with your finger the jam goes wrinkly it is set.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes then pour into hot, clean jars and seal immediately.
This jam is delicious spread on hot buttered toast or freshly baked bread!
Orange and Ruby Grapefruit
- Remove peel from fruit with a vegetable peeler, slice peel thinly and place in a saucepan with 2 litres water.
- Squeeze juices into pan, reserving seeds.
- Coarsely chop half the juiced fruit (discard remainder), tie up with seeds in a piece of muslin and add to pan. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, half-cover with a lid and simmer until liquid reduces by half (45 minutes-1 hour), then refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 180C. Spread sugar in an even layer in a roasting pan and warm in oven.
- Meanwhile, squeeze liquid from muslin bag into pan and discard bag.
- Bring fruit mixture to the boil over medium-high heat, add sugar and vanilla seeds, stir to dissolve sugar.
- Return to the boil, cook without stirring until mixture reaches setting point (10-15 minutes).
- Stand until slightly thickened (20-30 minutes), stir to distribute peel evenly through mixture, ladle into sterilised jars and seal.
Note You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead; it makes about 1.8 litres.