September is a great time for jams and chutneys

I love Autumn, actually being in Britain it is my most favourite season of all.  This is the time when Apples and pears are plentiful as well as Victoria plums to make great jams.  So today I wanted to write some thoughts and tips on what to do when making Preserves.
First make sure you have the right equipment.  Stainless steel pans are better than copper or aluminium as stainless steel wont react with the acid.  Also make sure you use a large pan to allow for expansion while the ingredients are bubbling.

If you have a recipe that uses a thermometer, make sure you warm this first rather than just sticking it into boiling sugar.  Likewise it’s a good idea to warm up the jars before putting boiling jam in. Another old tip is to put a metal spoon into the jar while pouring in the jam.

We have some great Jam recipes such as this Bramble and apple jam – otherwise known as blackberry and apple jam

Bramble and apple jam
Bramble and apple jam

A few tips to help make great jam is

1. To stop scum forming on the jam or chutney – coat the pan with glycerine before starting to cook.
2.When choosing your fruit just remember that some fruits make better jam than others – Apples, blackcurrents, blackberries,plums and  gooseberries make great jams – pears don’t do so well.   Apple and blackberry makes a great combination as do  Cook the fruits first with liquid until tender before adding the sugar – this helps to create a clear jam.   One of our members , stars and seas recommends(3) adding a knob of butter to remove the scum in their blackberry jam.

Chutneys tend to balance sweet and sour or sweet and spicey flavours.  They use vinegars and onions and even chillis with the apples and are a great accompaniment to meats.  My favourite is Apple chutney as it combines the apples with warming spices that really taste like Autumn!

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