Our local farm shop have some lovely fruit fresh local fruit in at this time of year. We love this fresh during the summer but it’s also great to be able to enjoy this fruit during the winter months. The easy option is just to buy what you like and freeze it now for later in the year. This can be very cost effective especially if you catch your local market or shops near closing time and manage to get a deal.
While thinking about what fruit I might be able to buy this weekend I was also flicking through the excellent Hobbycraft website looking for ideas for ways to keep the children busy during the summer holidays (a blog on this will follow in a few days hopefully). I spotted a special offer on their Jam making kit.
They are currently selling this kit for £45 instead of £65 on their website. The kit includes a 9l Stainless Steel Maslin Pan with Handle which makes it easier to transfer the boiling jam into the jars. 6 jars, a funnel that fits the jars and makes it easy to get the jam in the right place, a cooking thermometer and various labels and lids. It doesn’t sound like a bad price for a kit like this which could easily last you a lifetime. I had a quick look on John Lewis they are selling a similar pans alone in their sale for £40, so if you haven’t got a food thermometer and funnel this looks like a better bet. This kit would make a lovely wedding present or birthday present.
Making Jam and Marmalade is really easy and the results taste so much nicer than the jam you buy in most shops – and you know exactly what it contains.
My tip when making jam and Marmalade is to make sure your jars are really well washed out and sterilised. There is nothing worse than opening your jar after all your hard work only to find that the contents have mild grown on them. So if you have a dishwasher put the jars and the lids through the washer on the highest setting. If you don’t have a dishwasher drop the jars (carefully) into a pan of boiling water. Dry your jars in a warm oven – don’t contaminate them by drying them with a cloth! Leave the jars and the lids on a tray in the warm oven until just before you are ready to transfer the jam into them. This way you are not risking contamination until the very last moment.
Have a look at the Jam Kit and let me know how you get on with you jam making.