Ok, I'm going to lay it all out on the table. I've failed at this week's #BakeOffBakeAlong. It's Tuesday and I haven't got something sugar free, gluten free or dairy free on my kitchen counter. In fact, as I'm currently on holiday in Greece I probably have all of the above within a 3ft radius of me.
I thought I'd be all clever and schedule my posts in advance for when I'm away, but what I didn't realise was that this meant doing two bakes in one week. Alas, I stupidly decided to make this mountain of cheesecake last week, which has damaged my baking soul from sheer effort and has also supplied everyone with at least a fortnight's worth of sugar. No one was ready for another round of cake. #TooSoon.
I'm not leaving the gap completely unfilled, as today I thought I'd share a 'so-easy-anyone-can-do-it' jam recipe. Partly because I've always wanted to make jam. Partly because I had two Tupperware boxes full of blackberries desperately asking to be made into something. You can adapt this recipe by using whatever fruit you'd like, however I'd suggest braving the bracken to forage the last of the blackberries before they shrivel up for another year.
600g granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 // Put the fruit into a large saucepan. For blackberries, add 50ml water and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. For plums, add 150ml water and 3 tbsp lemon juice. For strawberries, add 3 tbsp lemon juice (no water). For blueberries add 2 tbsp lemon juice (no water). For raspberries add nothing. Bring to the boil.
2 // Lower the heat. Simmer the blackberries for 15 minutes. Plums for 30-40 minutes. Raspberries for 2 minutes. Strawberries for 5 minutes. Blueberries for 2 minutes. At this point, the fruit should be soft.
3 // Tip the sugar into the saucepan. Raise the heat to a full rolling boil. Boil blackberries for 20 minutes, plums for 12 minutes, raspberries for 5 minutes, blueberries for 2 minutes and strawberries for 20-25 minutes. Mash the berries up if you'd like a smoother consistency.
4 // Keep an eye on the mixture to make sure the bottom isn't burning. After the above time, or when you think the jam has reduced enough, place a large spoonful of it into a ramekin and put in the freezer for 5 minutes. Take it out and make a small well. If the jam stays put and doesn't run back, your jam is ready to set.
5 // Fill up some old, clean jam jars with your new mixture and leave on the side until cooled. Write some labels for your new jam and you're done! Use within a year and you're all good.
You could use your jam for presents, but if you're going to keep it (I am!), spread it on toast, croissants, sandwiches, cakes, swirl into frosting, or do anything that you fancy!
I promise I'll be back on the Bake Off wagon next week with pastry, although I've never made 'proper' pastry before so it'll be an interesting one for sure!
Have you ever made jam before? Also, if you did the #BakeOffBakeAlong this week, how did you do?
Catch up on all my previous baking posts here.
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