Sunday, 16 January 2011

Raspberry Jam

Over the Christmas holidays I learned and witnessed lots of recipes from family and friends. This time of the year is besides known for the feasts and over-eating which then leads you to start the new year with indigestion and vows that you'll eat only vegetables for the next month. I broke mine a week ago and that was actually a personal record. But of course I did enjoy the foods I ate, even the tips from my grandmother, mum and family friends. And the sweets, oh the sweets....
I now have a rich collection of recipes (with pictures and everything) that could cover a month's time posting one each day on the blog but I've got to take it easy. And I've been so busy with work and other "serious" stuff that I sort of neglected the blog but I'm now back with 3 recipes: Jam, Boeuf Bourguignon and Clementine Liqueur.
Here goes the jam:

For any of you whose native language is not English, you might wonder (as I did) what is the difference between jam, jelly, marmalade and conserve. The differences are the following:
Jam is fruit cooked with sugar over high heat until set. The simplest of them all, the classic one.
Conserves are pretty much like jams but contain large pieces of fruit or whole fruits. The fruits are steeped in sugar before cooking to firm them up and they are boiled more gently than jam.
Jellies are made from the strained juice of fruit, thus do not contain any fruit pieces - that's an easy one to remember.
Marmalade is made in the same way as jam but with citrus fruit, which, by the way, require a long preliminary cooking period first to soften the peel.

Instead of using only one kind of berry, you can mix as many berry varieties as you want. The first time, I mixed raspberries (mainly) and blackberries but this time I only used raspberries.
You will need 450 gr of fruit
450 gr (or less, depending how sweet you want it) granulated sugar. I use about 1/3 less so the jam has a fruitier taste and is not sickly sweet.
Juice of 2 lemons

-Put the fruit and the juice of the two lemons in a large pan and lightly crush it with the back of a wooden spoon.

-Add the sugar and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

-Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. When the jam reaches a rolling boil, cook for 5-10 more minutes and test for a set. This is done by putting a plate or saucer in the fridge before you make the jam. When you think that your jam has reached a set, put 1 tsp of boiling jam on the chilled saucer, allow to cool and then push it from one side with your finger. If your finger leaves a trail on the plate and the jam wrinkles slightly, it is set. If it doesn't, return the pan on the heat and boil from one more minute, then test again and so on until it's set.

-Remove any scum from the surface with a skimmer or slotted spoon. Leave the jam to cool slightly so that a thin skin forms on the surface, then ladle into a warm, sterilized jar. Store in a cool, dry place and refrigerate after opening.

I even ate it on bread while it was still hot and runny!

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