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Summer berry jam

Now’s the time to make a big batch of jam with the last of the summer berries. It’s worth seeking out jam berries which tend to be odd shapes and sizes and are sold off cheap. We used a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries & aronia berries – small black berries that look a bit like currants and are apparently very good for us.

Summer Berry Jam – about 8 jam jars

  • 1.8 kg mixed summer berries (see our suggestion above)
  • 1.5 kg jam sugar with pectin
  • juice and pips of 1 lemon
  • tiny knob of butter

Start the night before by layering the berries and sugar together in a very large bowl, then cover and leave at room temperature. Stir the fruit in the morning, then leave until you are ready to cook.

Put a small saucer in the freezer before you start. Tip the berries and any sugar into a large wide-based pan or preserving pan. Stir in the lemon juice, then collect the pips and put into a muslin cloth or tea-leaf strainer before adding to the pan.

Put the pan over a gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and put a teaspoon of jam onto the chilled saucer. Wait for it to cool, then push with your finger – if it wrinkles it’s ready. If it’s too runny, put the pan back over the heat and boil for another 2-3 minutes before checking again. Continue like this until the jam wrinkles. If you have a jam thermometer you should wait until the jam reaches 105ºC.

Skim the scum off the top of the jam, then stir in a very small knob of butter (this will help to dissolve any remaining scum). Leave the jam for 15 minutes before ladling into sterilised jars.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

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