Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recipe: "Jumbleberry" Jam

Theres one thing you learn after working in kitchens for a few years: Patience. And you do need a fair amount of patience for this jam. Because the majority of this jam is made from elderberries. I walked round the hedgerows near my house and harvested a load of them, then spent about 3 hours picking the individual dark berries (leaving the pink-ish or green ones) off the stems. Theres still loads of elderberries out there actually, might make something else out of them if i can be bothered! This jam reminds me of the house i grew up in. I grew up in a nice country house, in Colerne (30 minutes away from Bath) with a massive garden, most of which was covered in apple trees, plum trees, elderberry trees and brambles. I loved late summer/early autumn when I could just go into the garden and basicaly gorge myself on the fresh plums and greengages. The greengages were the treasured ones, because there were only a couple of small greengage trees compared to the loads of plum trees we had.

This time, I picked the elderberries myself, I picked a third of the blackberries myself, and the rest of the blackberries, raspberries and greengages are locally grown. I've put them into little jars to give as presents to people. It is fab on toast, but it also goes really well with oaty things, such as oatcakes or stirred into porridge.

“Jumbleberry” Jam (makes about 2.5kg) Costs £2.91 to make if you go pick your own elderberries, blackberries and greengages- 10 x 250g jars at 30p each!

900g elderberries
700g blackberries
450g greengages, pitted
150g raspberries
4 tbsp lemon juice
1700g caster sugar

1. In a large saucepan bring all the ingredients to the boil (being careful not to burn the mixture on the bottom of the pan). Lower the temperature so that the mixture is on a rolling boil.
2. Cook for about 1 hour 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Pour into preserving jars. Close the lids after an hour, once the jam has cooled slightly. Lasts about a month.

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