Apple Ginger Jam

The jam, jellies and marmalades chapter is another one I’ve maybe neglected a little and still have a good few to try! I made this last night to allow to cool for testing tonight. It may seem unusual to be making jam on a Tuesday night but just goes to show how easy it is!!

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I had one cooking apple that weighed just under 1 pound so I quartered everything else. So first I chopped the apple..

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I didn’t have any muslin so I had to just use a thinnish dish cloth for the peel and core..

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The apple and water go into a pan with the tied up tea towel..

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While that was simmering I chopped up the ginger. The recipe says preserved ginger, but I was using stem ginger in syrup. I used to hate stem ginger as a child! I loved ginger biscuits with dried ginger but really didn’t like stem ginger! Now I do love it!

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It really didn’t take long for the apple to soften..

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I didn’t need to really sieve or mash the apple, I just gave it a good beat! Next in went the chopped ginger and liquid from the jar, lemon and sugar..

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That was left to simmer for about 20 minutes before it reached the right temperature, and by then it was very sticky and smelling good..

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I left it to cool and I sterilised the empty ginger jar! I ended up with one jar and one ramekin of jam!

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So tonight I made some wholemeal scones to try the jam on..

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Well it is a very thick jam! I read back some jam making tips and it does say that some fruits reach setting point a few degrees lower than others plus I think cooking apples are quite rich in pectin that helps the jam to set. It’s not too thick and does spread on a scone nicely!

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Well this is a good jam!! I do love the gingery flavour, it’s sweet and as all jams are but it’s also quite refreshing!! Perfect on a scone..

Would I make this again? Yes!

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Apricot Jam

We had three apricots that were possibly the wrong side of ripe and probably not going to get eaten to I decided to turn them into jam..

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So the recipe says 4lb of apricots and I only had 3 which actually worked out as an 18th of 4lb!!

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After halving them I cracked the stones to remove the kernels..

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I only blanched one kernel and added that to a pan with the apricots and only 23ml of water and just a few drops of lemon juice!

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That was left to simmer until soft and then I added the sugar..

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So obviously I didn’t have very much of a mixture but I left it to simmer for 15 minutes and then was looking very reduced and very sticky..

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So normally I’d sterilise jars and pot but because I had such a little amount of jam I just poured into a ramekin..

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This was left to cool then had to test with a wholemeal scone..

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I was pretty pleased with this jam! It’s delicious but maybe a bit too sticky! I think because I was using such a significantly smaller amount of ingredients I maybe should’ve boiled for slightly shorter length of time!

Would I make this again? Yes..

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Orange Curd

I was so surprised how’s easy it was to make lemon curd, so when I found myself with an abundance of oranges in the fridge I decided to try this..

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So like the lemon curd I just put all the ingredients in a bowl on top of a pan of boiling water..

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I did opt to leave out the candied orange peel as all I had was the mixed dried peel stuff I use in baking which I didn’t think was right.

I did think this took way longer than the lemon curd to thicken, but it did eventually..

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I had been a bit worried because in the lemon curd it was 4 lemons to 4oz of butter and sugar and then in this recipe it was just one orange with the same butter and sugar quantities. Am pretty sure an orange isn’t 4 times the size or volume of 4 lemons. Maybe that’s why the mixture took longer to thicken.

I made this earlier in the day and tried it on a slice bread this evening..

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I was worried that it wasn’t going to thicken the same as the lemon curd but after a good few hours in the jar the consistency had totally changed, it was thick and jelly like you’d expect a curd to be.

The flavour is not as strong as the lemon curd, it’s much more subtle. I did like it but do wonder if it would’ve been better with two oranges..

Would I make this again? Yes, was really easy and nice enough..

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Mincemeat – 1

The reason this is called mincemeat-1 is because there is another mincemeat recipe which is called mincemeat-2! Picked this one first, and this one has more ingredients although pretty similar. I still think I’ll be cooking through this book next Christmas so plan will to be do mincemeat-2 next year!

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So there’s really not much to say about this! I did compare some more modern recipes and they are much similar, although nuts didn’t feature in ever other version I found, and it seems unusual that this recipe doesn’t have any brandy in it.

The one thing I couldn’t get was bitter almonds; they’re optional anyway so I didn’t go out my way to hunt them down!

So it was just a lot of blitzing and mixing and that’s it.

I think the traditional day to be making this was yesterday-stir up Sunday but I ran out of time and had to make today! I did get a bit confused as I thought stir up Sunday was last Sunday before advent which I thought was next week but I did check and it was yesterday! Anyway I made this today!

I obviously can’t comment on how it tastes as it needs to be left for a while. After the two days I will put into sterilised jars and then I have a good few recipes to try…

Would I make this again? Based on how easy it is, yes. Will need to wait before I can comment on it taste wise!

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Lemon Curd

I had bought a massive bag of lemons so decided to give this a go. I was going to make the full lot but then after reading the foot of the recipe where it says it doesn’t last long I decided to just quarter everything.

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I used to think that lemon curd sounded like it would be complicated to make! Well after reading this it seems very straightforward, and there very few ingredients which are pretty much a basic in most cupboards..

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It doesn’t take long for the sugar to dissolve..

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I had no idea how long it was going to take to thicken, and then I wasn’t sure how thick it should be! After about 15 minutes and some stirring it had totally changed consistency and was looking lovely and thick!

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I sterilised the jar in an oven then strained the curd in. I did only end up with just under one jar.

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While this was cooling I made a batch of scones to try with it. It’s a bit more runny than the shop bought stuff but maybe it just needs a little longer to set or a bit of time in the fridge.

Well I really loved this! It’s not too sweet and just the perfect amount of lemoniness! I was so surprised how well this turned out and how easy it is!

Would I make this again? Yes, will be making my own lemon curd from now on and do wish I’d made more today!!

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Rhubarb Ginger Jam

I still have a bit of rhubarb growing in the garden, it’s not the best looking and wonder if it’s still growing because the weather is so mild. I decided to make this jam with it..

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My rhubarb is looking a bit thin, so think its perfect for chopping up and making jam!

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I started this last night and left the rhubarb overnight. I wasn’t sure if the alternate layers were crucial so I just stirred the sugar and rhubarb together. I did also wonder if I wasn’t meant to chop the rhubarb as nowhere in the recipe does it say that! I just thought I was meant to as I didn’t think it would breakdown completely!

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By the morning the sugar had pretty much dissolved and there was loads more liquid..

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I don’t have any muslin so I just bashed the ginger a bit but still keeping it whole and then I just threw that in the pan and planned to fish out at the end of cooking.

I was using preserved ginger rather than crystallised, and I think the last boiling stage took longer than 5 minutes, probably closer to 10. By then It was dark and sticky looking, pretty hard to tell if the rhubarb is actually clear!

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I used just over 1lb of rhubarb and ended up with 3 random sized jars.

I left this to cool and tried with some homemade bread and I really like it. It’s not overly sweet and the balance with the ginger is just right. I also really like the texture, it’s not completely smooth but just the right amount of chunks – in my opinion!

Overall another good jam!

Would I make this again? Yes, the rhubarb in the garden doesn’t look finished yet…

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Plum Jam

I didn’t actually make this today but wanted to leave to cool properly so saved trying this until breakfast today..

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I had a punnet of plums that just weren’t ripening, even at room temperature. They were impossibly hard so rather than throw them out or leave them any longer I decided to try this jam. When I weighed them out I only had 8oz so had to divide the rest of the ingredients by 12! I know that seems so little but I think to end up with 10lb of jam is loads! I have so many jars of jams, marmalades and chutneys in my cupboard so was happy to be making this to end up with one jar.

I did try to crack a stone and remove the kernels but it nearly ended up in a finger amputation so decided to go the alternative option and cook with the stones in. After 30 minutes they were really soft and was able to fish out the stones easily enough.

I think the boiling with sugar stage only took about 15 minutes and was smelling pretty good throughout

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I sterilised the jars by washing in hot soapy water and then drying in a low oven. As expected I only ended up with one jar..

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I just love the colour of this, I know my jar looks a but messy but am not the most careful when pouring the jam in! I did try some of this warm and it was good but decided to leave and have on toast for breakfast

Apparently plum is a medium pectin fruit and this has set really well, and it’s blooming lovely!! I had this on some white toast and was fab. It’s not overly sweet and there are still a few wee lumps in it which I think are actually bits of the plum skin! It really is a great jam!

Would I make this again? Yes, loved it!

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