I have been making the most of having access to so many fruits. Last week I made a jar of strawberry, apple and mahonia berry jam and yesterday I made another jam with wild raspberries, adding in some small apples and mahonia berries again. The windfall apples and mahonia berries are not nice on their own but high in pectin and so help other fruit jams to set. I also find that they add a nice complexity to the flavour of the jams that I personally really like. I have a feeling that I will be making more jams over the next month or two.
Here are the ingredients that I collected from the orchard/forest garden area:
There were also a lot more raspberries from the stash behind the polytunnel.
First I chopped out the apple cores and boiled the apples and mahonia berries down:
Then I strained it to take out the skins etc. which left me with this:
After all the ingredients were in I brought the jam to a rolling boil, allowing excess water to boil off and the temperature to rise. I do not use a jam thermometer or anything so I just get a sense when the jam is nearly done. Resist the urge to stir it too much though I find that the right temperature for the jam is reached when the pot reaches a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. To check the jam, I put a couple of metal spoons into the freezer then dropped jam on them to see if it was ready. When the jam is ready you can make a line through the jam with your finger and it will stay put.
Here is the finished article, in a recycled coffee jar that I popped in the oven to sterilise while I was making the jam.
As you can tell I am no expert on jam making, but I do enjoy making use of what the garden and surroundings give us and jam is one great way to do so.
Another way to use up some fruit and some of our many eggs is to do a bit of baking. One member of our household had their Birthday on Wednesday so I baked a chocolate and raspberry cake for the occasion. Here is what is left: