Victoria Apple Jam
This is one of the most delicious ways of preserving autumn’s bumper crop of local apples. As noted in the recipe, you swap up to half the quantity of apples with other fruits. Pear and apple is lovely, as is apple rhubarb, etc. A hint of spice or even herbs like rosemary or lemon verbena, or rose water for an exotic Moroccan twist, allows you to put your own stamp on the recipe. You'll get 3-4 340g jars.
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- 1kg apples (or you can swap up to 500g of the apples with another fruit – i.e. 500g apples + 500g blackberries, pears, rhubarb, elderberries, plums and/or a combo of other autumn fruits)
- 750g golden caster sugar
- 1 lemon, juice and grated zest
- Spices or herbs, to taste – if you wish
- Peel, core and finely dice your apples. Rinse and prep any other fruit, if using.
- Pile into a large stainless steel pot – one with a heavy bottom so it doesn’t catch and burn – it’s really depressing when that happens.
- Add the zest and juice of the lemon. Give everything a really good stir to help start dissolving the sugar and to bring out some of the juice in the apples.
- Place the pot on low heat. Stir continuously until all the sugar has dissolved and the apples start to soften.
- Stir often. When it starts looking jammy, increase the heat and place a saucer in the freezer so you can do the jam test when it starts looking thick and glossy, and when the sound of the jam moves from sounding like a hyper 5 year old on a trampoline to a mellow adult strolling through the park (ok – really bad metaphor!).
- At this near done stage, add the spices to taste. Putting them in toward the end helps you retain their freshness and their flavour will continue to permeate the jam as it ages. Start with a little. Taste and add more and more until the jam tastes so good you can’t stop eating it.
- Test the doneness of the jam but spoon a little on your frozen plate. Let it sit a minute. Push it with your finger. If it holds its shape and doesn’t dribble all over the plate when tilted it’s done. The warm jam in the pan will look a little less firm but if it looks set on the plate it’s done.
- Ladle jam into hot sterilised jars – when the jam is still rather hot. Use a knife to get rid of air bubble and fill to the top sealing with sterilised lids immediately. Turn the jars upside down for a minute – this makes the wax on the lids hot, which helps seal them.
- That’s it! Now, pour yourself a mug of tea.
Crystal Palace Food Market http://crystalpalacefoodmarket.co.uk/