Category Archives: Jams, Jellies and Preserves

Lemon Curd

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Of all the jams that I make, this is the only one that I do not treat as seasonal, and is also the only jam that I make for special occasions. It does not keep particularly well, lasting in the store cupboard for a maximum of 3 months, and once open lasting in the fridge for no more than a week. For those reasons I make only small quantities. The making of it is fairly straightforward, and the fact that it has a large number eggs means that you never have to worry about a set to thicken the final result.

This recipe makes about 450 gm/ 1 lb and takes about 45 minutes start to finish

Ingredients

3 lemons

200 gm/7 oz/1 cup sugar

115 gm/ 4 oz/ 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 large eggs

Method

Place a mixing bowl into a large saucepan, which has been partially filled with hot water from the tap. Heat up the water so that is gently simmering.

Put the butter and sugar into the bowl to slowly melt.

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Meanwhile wash the lemons, grate them, cut them in half  and squeeze the lemon juice from them. Put the rind and juice into the bowl.

Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon.

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DSCN5734Crack the eggs and beat them in a cup. Then pour the eggs through a sieve into the bowl. Do this to ensure that you remove any eggshell or little chickens.

Now stir continually until the lemon curd has thickened enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon, or sets when put on a saucer kept in a freezer for 10 minutes or so.

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Pot up immediately in small warm sterilized jars and screw the lids down tight.

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When cool, keep in a cool dark place for up to 3 months, and when opened keep in a fridge for no more than a week.

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Grape Jelly

I have taken the last of our grapes from the vine to make into jelly. This time of year (mid September) it is a bit of a race for the grapes between me and hornets. We have a large patio and when we moved in just over 9 years ago, we planted 2 vines and trained them over the patio to give some cover from the summer sun, and very well it works too. But when I am standing on a stepladder picking bunches of grapes it is a little unnerving to have hornets buzzing around. They look mighty impressive and they do command my respect, but I have to say that they are not as aggressive as ordinary little wasps, and generally as long as you don’t wave at them they seem to go past you. But there are a lot of hornets around here. More so than ordinary wasps. And we also have what I call dangley-leg wasps, that dangle their legs when flying, but again they seem quite benign, not at all aggressive.

Anyway – Grape Jelly, an easy clear jam to make that has, in my case with our black grapes, a deep purple hue.

This is a recipe using 1kg (2 1/4lbs) of grapes, although the weight of grapes is not important, it is the volume of juice that you yield. So for this quantity of grapes you will get approximately 800gms (1 3/4lb) of finished jelly.

This will keep for a year in a cool place, although we recently had a jar of jam that was 4 years old, and it was very nice too.

Ingredients

1kg (2.2lbs) of black grapes

For every 500ml/16 fl. oz/2 cups of grape juice, you need

675gm/1 1/2lb/3 1/4 cups sugar

100gm/3 1/2 fl. oz/1/2 cup of liquid pectin or equivalent dry pectin

Juice of freshly squeezed lemon

Method

In a large pan crush the grapes and then bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until soft.

Use a stick blender to turn them into a fine slurry.

Spoon into a jelly bag and allow to drip overnight for at least 12 hours.

Measure the juice into a large pan, calculate how much of the other ingredients you need and add the lemon and sugar.

If you are using dry pectin you should add it at this stage.

If using liquid pectin add it when you have heated up the mixture and all the sugar is dissolved.

Boil vigorously for 5 minutes and test for a set on a saucer kept in the freezer for 5 minutes.

When you have achieved a set, bottle up in clean dry hot screw lid jars.

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Red Pepper & Chilli Jelly

DSCN3571This piquant jelly is one of my favourites, and with members of my family. While peppers are relatively cheap, now is the time to make it. It has a bite that goes really well with cheese and crackers. It is straight forward to make, and will keep for at least six months.

Takes about 15 minutes(sort of).          Makes about 1.5 kg (3 1/2 lbs)

Ingredients

6 large red peppers

12 red chilies

2 lemons

600 ml/1 pint/2 cups red wine vinegar

1.25 kg/2 3/4 lbs/7 cups white sugar

250 gm/9 oz/1 cup liquid pectin or equivalent powdered pectin

Method

De-stalk, de-seed and roughly chop the red peppers. De-stalk and half chilis. Chop lemons

Put them into a blender/processor and chop finely.

Transfer to a deep pan and add the vinegar.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Put it into a jelly bag and allow to drip through overnight.

Pour the drained liquid back into the deep pan and add the sugar and the pectin

Bring slowly to the boil stirring constantly ensuring the sugar has dissolved.

Cook at a strong boil for 4 minutes and test for a set. I test for a set on a saucer placed in the freezer for 5 minutes.

When it has reached a setting point, pot up into cleaned and hot screw lid jars, filling to near the brim.

Store in a cool dark place and once opened keep in the fridge.

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Tip

The red residue left in the bag can be frozen and used for general cooking purposes. I put kitchen paper on a baking tray (one that will fit in the freezer) and then I put teaspoon sized blobs neatly on the kitchen paper, and then freeze it. when it is frozen it is bagged up and put back in the freezer. This residue would have gone into the compost anyway, but this is a more satisfying end.

Red Pepper & Chilli Doses

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