Given the amount of jam which my husband and I go through (about 1 jar of Bonne Mamam per week), it’s rather surprising that I only recently got into jam-making. For a long time, I always thought that you needed a gluttony of fruit in order to make jam. And in Switzerland, a gluttony of fruit comes at an extortionate price.
I recently had some good friends from Germany come to stay with me at rather short notice. They had been hiking in the Swiss alps but were forced to abandon their trek due to bad weather. So they wound up at my place, thoughtfully bringing with them a box of apricots which they bought on the way down the mountain (and a bottle of sweet wine for hubby).
There were more apricots than I could eat on my own, not to mention that I was going to be in Cardiff for several days. So I dug out some cookbooks to look up different recipes for jam, and surprisingly discovered that I didn’t need a lot of fruit after all to make a few pots of jam. In fact, it is recommended to make jam in small batches in order to retain more flavour. The various recipes which I came across all had a common blueprint – equal weight in fruit and sugar, some water to cook the fruit in, and some lemon juice to help the jam to set.
My first attempt produced a fairly good batch of jam, perhaps a little too thick in consistency but still easily spreadable.
My second batch turned out beautifully And now that I am hooked, I don’t think we will be buying jam ever again. In fact, I find myself looking at the fruit bowl in a new light! Watch this space for more jam recipes!
* I should mention that most recipes call for the jam to be cooked until the temperature reaches 105°C (225°F). However, my sugar thermometer never quite made it that far, even though my jam had reached setting point. So just keep an eye on the mixture as it is bubbling away – if it starts to look like it has thickened but your thermometer has not reached 105°C, you should test the jam as per my recipe below.