This has the potential to get very dangerous…

25 Jan

I’ve been on a bit of a preserving run of late. After bottling the tomatoes the other day and feeling pretty pleased with myself, I’ve been reading,  and thinking of other possibilities. Our family eats a lot of jam (hence P’s diet), and so that really is the natural progression.

We are off for the long weekend to a farmstay, and I ordered too many nectarines for the week. They will be past their best by the time we get back, so I thought I’d make some jam out of them. I’d been reading Rhonda’s blog and it really didn’t seem too hard, so tonight I thought I’d give it a go.

I cut up the nectarines, some white, some yellow (about 2.4 kilos) and put them into a large stockpot with about half their weight in sugar. That seemed like an awful lot to me, but looking at various recipes it seems that that is actually a low-sugar jam!

I also added half a large lemon – I squeezed the juice into the pan then added the skin to the pot too.

I added a little bit of water to allow the sugar to start to dissolve, then put it on medium heat, stirring regularly.

The mix eventually came to the boil and I used a potato masher to break down the chunks of fruit to a reasonable consistency. I didn’t want to puree it, but I didn’t want it to be awfully lumpy either. Tasting the mix I decided it needed another sqeeze of lemon juice, and I also added a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste (with the lovely little seeds).

As I cooked the mix down it became thicker and the colour darkened. I chose not to use pectin in this batch because apparently nectarines are naturally high in pectin, especially under-ripe nectarines, and a few of the fruit were a bit under ripe.

Once I was happy with the consistency of the jam once it had cooled on the spoon, I took it off the boil and started ladling it into clean jars. This is where my inexperience really showed. Jam makers have these really cool funnels for the purpose, but I was trying to co-ordinate a ladle, jars of varying sizes and scaling hot fruit and sugar!

It filled at least twice the number of jars as I expected, so had to move onto a few less than ideal jars with labels still attached. I cleaned the stockpot and filled it with the jars and water (covering the jars). I brought it to the boil and held it there for 15 minutes or so, ensuring that they’d seal properly and be safe to store.

I may just need a few more jars for future jams – I can tell that this is going to be addictive. Heelloo Diabetes!

5 Responses to “This has the potential to get very dangerous…”

  1. Robyn January 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Something tells me I should start saving my empty jars for you…

  2. Sarah January 25, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    That looks yummy! I love jam. Especially on thick white toast. So not good for you but so delicious.

  3. Frogdancer January 26, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    I make my jam in the thermomix (no stirring/mashing needed… the machine does it all.)
    You’re right about it being addictive… I’ve run out of jars!

  4. Liz January 26, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    I make jam quite a bit and you’re right it is addictive. You are also right about this being reasonably low sugar most jam recipes have more – perhaps thats why you need to do the water bath afterwards – I’ve never done that, the high quantities of sugar usually preserve the fruit without needing to do anything other than putting it into sterilised jars and sealing them. Or thats what I’ve always thought. Incidently I don’t have a funnel either – I use a small jug to ladle the jam from the pan to the jars and it works quite well.

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