Winter Jam

Jam making is something usually associated with the warmer months of the year, but I like myself some home made jam even in the midst of winter, as it just tastes better than shop bought. These two recipes are really easy and quick to make, and don’t involve peeling, coring, de-stoning or chopping ingredients for ages.

cranberry orange apple jam

Ingredients

  • jar of cranberries (400g)
  • 500ml cloudy apple juice
  • 100ml freshly pressed orange juice (about 2-3 oranges)
  • gelling sugar – ideally 500g of 2:1 sugar, or alternatively 1kg of 1:1 sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

*Gelling sugar, also known as jam sugar or jelly sugar, is a sugar that already contains pectin as a gelling agent. In Germany, it is available in three different varieties – 1:1 (same amount/weight of fruit and sugar), 2:1 (twice as much fruit as sugar), and 3:1 (three times as much fruit). 

Directions

  • Sterilise 3 to 4 jam jars, depending on size. We used three jars that had previously held 340g of shop bought jam. If you have different sizes of jars at home, just sterilise a couple extra so you don’t get caught out. We washed them with soap and hot water to make sure they were clean, then rinsed them in boiling water fresh from the kettle (careful not to burn yourself!) and turned them upside down on a clean tea towel until needed. The lids we boiled for 10 minutes in a saucepan.
  • Mix the cranberries, juices and sugar in a large pot. Bring to the boil, then stir for 3-4 minutes whilst boiling, according to what it says on your sugar (ours said 4 minutes), adding the spices one minute before the end.
  • Decant the jam in to the glasses, screw the lids on tightly and turn upside down for 5 minutes, then turn the right way up again and leave to cool.

orange ginger jam

When we bought the oranges to make the cranberry, orange and apple, they only came in jumbo sized bags, so I decided to make a quick orange and ginger jam with some of the remaining oranges. Basically, all you need is to mix freshly pressed orange juice, some freshly grated ginger, and gelling sugar according to type and amount of orange juice – e.g. 300ml orange juice + 300g 1:1 sugar or 150g 1:2 sugar (see notes on gelling sugar above) – and follow the same directions as for the other jam.

For 300ml juice I used about a thumb sized piece of ginger. Tip: if you are planning your jam making in advance and not doing it on the spur of the moment, peel the ginger and stick it in the freezer beforehand, then it will be much easier to grate!

Happy winter jam making!

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