Friday, August 29, 2008

Beverley and Barmston Drain Blackberry Jam 2008

A unique product from the kitchens of JHL.

Step 1 – Out with Mrs. Beeton’s Cookbook and a cursory glance to brush up after last year’s effort.

Preserves [Jam-making]

“The fruits from which jams are made vary in their content of sugar, acid and pectin [a natural gum like substance]. All three of these make an essential contribution to the set and finished results.”

* Fruits very easy to make into well-set jam include apples, blackcurrants, damsons, gooseberries, plums, redcurrants.

* Fruits of medium setting quality include apricots blackberries, raspberries, and loganberries

* Fruits of poor setting quality include cherries , strawberries.

Blackberry jam

3 pound blackberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 lb sugar

Place berries in pan with lemon juice and simmer gently until the fruit is cooked and well softened. Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. Skim. Pour into hot, dry jars. Cover. Yield – 5lb.

Step 2 – Pans, scales, sugar, berries jars, chef and chief bottle washer at the ready and JHL is away. In with the berries and sugar, the required flame beneath, checks with the special jam thermometer and things are bubbling. Tension mounts as the temperature crept towards the magic 220 Fahrenheit, along with a bare minimum of salty language, the heated bottles at the ready, great tension, the temperature comes up and the pan is lifted from the stove.

Plop, slop – the jam goes in but there’s something wrong – too thin, clearly the fault of the bottle-washer as he wasn’t around for last year’s masterpieces. [The definition of a masterpiece is when you can turn the jar upside down and nothing falls out.] At this point the smoke alarm goes off, which requires the bottle-washer rushing into the dining room with the broom handle to push the button on the ceiling.

Step 3 – Retire to the living room with cups of tea and start the post-mortem. Maybe best to re-check Mrs. Beeton’s. Oh, b—ger. Should have put the fruit in first and softened it.

Not to worry.

Step 4 – Second batch and this one is slick and professional. Bottles at the ready, jam bubbling, temperature reached, pan off the stove and a warmed pyrex measuring jug used to slop it into the jars, bottle-washer following up with the cloth, wiping the bottoms clean [of the jars] – all well.

Step 5 – Jars placed in refrigerator, JHL reflecting that there’s far less swearing in this kitchen than in Gordon Ramsay’s.

However, this was not the case when that journalist was here. For a fuller and more balanced account, read this and scratch your head.

Step 6 – Take Rocky for a walk and get more sugar from Tesco. Finish first half of pork pie and then get ready for Round 3 – The Master Round.

Everything goes like clockwork this time, jars ready, sugar in at the right time, thermometer registering that this jam is on song, as per the video and there we finally are – bottled and settling in to its new home already.

Ice-cream with hot blackberry jam sauce - extremely yummy!


Name: __________________________________

Address: ________________________________

Sexual orientation: ________________________

£1.75 per jar via email or you can enter the Great Jam Contest. Simply complete the above form, send a pic of your own favourite jar of jam and the winning entry will be sent one of these unique offerings asap.


oestrebunny said...

I love making was one of my favourite things to do when I was wee.

CherryPie said...

The jam and ice cream look delicious :-)

I can't possibly fill out question 3 of the order form!!!

Sean Jeating said...

Having followed the links, I write:

Being a lover of Mrs. J. (does this clarify my sexual orientation? :) - and her diverse jams (esp. black currant-jam ), I declare that I'd not be hesitating to taste this very blackberry-jam. :)
Blackberries (to me) are (somehow) magic - including the scratches. :)

In this sense, the peace of the night, J&J, and a pleasant weekend.

jmb said...

These things always improve with practise. Learn my your mistakes as they say.

Richard Havers said...

I think I'll stick to my mushroom sup James...

Dragonstar said...

Icecream with hot jam sauce. Mmmmm. A culinary delight!

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Mushroom sup? :) Good to sup, Richard. Bunny, Cherie, Sean, JMB and DS - agreed.

Nunyaa said...

As I posted before, looks lovely and sure it is, still not as good as the jam I have.

sally in norfolk said...

Blackberry and apple jam next on my list now ive made the strawberry :-)

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Everyone loves his or her jam.