Tag Archives: Jam recipe

TTG Kitchen Gardeners Grape Jam Blog

Kitchen Gardeners' local Grape Jam

Kitchen Gardeners’ Grape Jam (in January)

The first Kitchen Gardeners’ workshop, Jam in January was a huge success with a happy lot of ‘Gardeners’ leaving with one (or three) jars of delectable jam.

Bev Roseveare generously shared her recipe for black grape jam, perfect for the short grape season and a delicious accompaniment to toast or ice-cream!

The 'Gardeners'

The ‘Gardeners’

We learned that berries including grapes don’t have much natural pectin – the ingredient in jam that helps thicken the liquid. This means berry jam is often more sauce-like.

We used jam setting sugar that includes pectin, but we also added a lemon to the pot to help the setting.

The pot early on

The pot early on

Meanwhile, Felicity ran the Kitchen Kids’ Club, its new members making the very beautiful labels for the jam that you will notice in the first photo. Thanks Felicity and the children for your creativity.

TTG Kitchen Kids' Club!

TTG Kitchen Kids’ Club!

And we all shared tips, stories, a few laughs and even a glass of wine while taking turns stirring the pot. Thanks to everyone who made it along and helped with our message of sustainable living and eating in season!

Sharing tips around the jam pot

Sharing tips around the jam pot

Finally, here’s the recipe for those who missed out. Feel free to add your tips in the comments section below:

Bev’s Grape Jam (Local, in-season grapes from the Swan Valley)

Ingredients:
– 4 or 5 kilos of seedless black grapes.
– 4 or 5 kilos of jam setting sugar, or caster sugar plus powdered pectin.
– 1 or 2 lemons, cut in half.

Method:
– Cut all fruit and weigh it before putting it in a large pot. A little water can be added to the bottom.
– Measure out the sugar, kilo for kilo to the weight of the fruit (i.e. 2kg grapes, 2kg sugar)
– Add the lemon.
-Bring the fruit to the boil. Mash up the fruit.
– Once the pot has come to the boil, add the sugar one kilo at a time and stir constantly to keep it from burning.
– Bring the pot to the boil, then add the next kilo. Repeat until all the sugar is in the pot.
– Boil and stir on a fast heat for about one hour, or until the liquid has reduced by about half.
– For the ‘jam test’, put a teaspoon of jam on a cool saucer. Wait until the jam has cooled and run a teaspoon through the jam. If a skin forms, it is ready to jar.
– Jar in cleaned and sterilised recycled jars.

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February’s preserve and jam workshop

The workshop was great fun and Emma and Kerrin’s house smelt absolutely divine.  We made 20 jars of jam – half plum, other half nectarine and mango, and 20 jars of Emma’s summer pickle.

Master jam stirer

 

If you’d like to make your own jam, here’s how you do it:

Elizabeth’s great-nana’s failsafe jam

Ingredients

  •  Quantity of soft fruit (plums, strawberries, apricots, peaches…)
  •  Equal quantity by mass of sugar.
  •  Juice of a lemon.
  •  Commercial pectin (quantity by weight, one packet of Jam Setta to 1.5kg fruit)

Method

  •  Wash your fruit and cut it into equal-sized pieces, removing any stones, spots or yucky bits.
  •  Weigh your fruit.
  •  Weigh an equal amount of sugar, mix your pectin through this and set it aside.
  • At this point put your jars and lids in the oven at 100 deg to sterilise them.
  •  Put fruit in a large, heavy-bottomed pot on a very low heat.
  •  Let the fruit simmer very slowly until it is cooked.  This step is important, as once you add your sugar the fruit doesn’t cook any further.
  •  Once the fruit is cooked, add your sugar and increase the heat to a rolling boil.
  •  Boil about 10 minutes, then start to test for setting point.
  •  Once your jam has reached setting point, take if off the heat.  Let jam sit for 10 minutes or so, until the fruit no longer rises to the surface.  This will ensure that when you bottle it, the chunks of fruit are evenly distributed through the jar.
  •  Bottle, seal and label.
  •  Stand back and feel pleased with yourself.

Notes

  •  Pectin is the naturally occurring acid in fruit that aids in setting.
  •  Slightly under-ripe fruit is best for jam as it tends to contain more pectin.
  •  I usually guess with the amount of Jam Setta I use, depending on the type of fruit and its degree of ripeness.  It’s forgiving stuff.
  •  This recipe works for just about any soft fruit – the only failure I’ve ever had with it was with custard apple, and that was because it tends to be gritty.
  •  Setting point is the point at which the fruit soup changes its chemical consistency to a gel.
  • To test setting point, put a saucer in the freezer. When the fruit has been boiling for 10 minutes or so, put a smear on the cold saucer, put it back in the freezer to cool down quickly, then run your finger gently through it.   When the jam creases, it’s at setting point. You might need to do this a couple of times.  If you leave it past this you end up with toffee.

Summer Pickle 

If you’d like to try the summer pickle, you can download the recipe here.

Pickle prep

Furious chopping

Successful pickle