Monday, January 30, 2012

Winter Is Coming

I'm dreaming of winter. I love winter. I get to rug up and walk about in the wind and (last winter) rain then come home to snuggle up in front of the (gas) fire with my ugg boots, a daggy tracksuit, and a blanket to read a book without feeling guilty. No Guilt because the weather is terrible outside. 

Of course it should be mandatory that while relaxing with a good book in front of the fire, listening to the rain outside there should be a pot of really good tea and scones. Fresh, fragrant, delicious smelling, warm scones with home-made chunky jam and lashings of whipped cream.

This weekend the temperature plummeted to 30° Celsius. Jam Time. The local Farmer’s Market had beautiful stone fruit and citrus amongst its other offerings. 

So in anticipation of winter I made a batch of one of my favourite, incredibly easy, never fails jams - Peach, Nectarine and Citrus Jam.

Peach, Nectarine and Citrus jam

About 1 litre

Preparation time 20 minutes
Refrigerate overnight before cooking.
Cooking time 60 minutes
Extreme care should be taken with the boiling jam. It may spit when stirred.

Equipment Required.

5 x 200 millilitre jars with tight fitting lids
1 sharp knife
1 cutting board
1 food processor
1 large stainless steel, glass or plastic bowl
1 large wide heavy bottomed pot.
Jar filling funnel

750 grams each of 'ready to eat' peaches and nectarines 
1 kilogram white sugar
2 oranges and 1 lemon
6 cloves or ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves


Scorethe skin of the peaches and then blanch them until the skins split (30-40 seconds).  Refresh (cool) in cold water until you can handle them. the skins should pull off in your hands. Other wise peel them as finely as you can. 
Slice up the citrus and remove the seeds. Chop the flesh and rind in a food processor until only small 2 - 3 mm size bits of rind are left.
Combine cloves, sugar, pureed oranges, lemon and all the juices from the food processor in the bowl. Break peaches and nectarines into smallish chunks over the bowl so you catch the juices. Stir, cover, refrigerate overnight. Stir regularly to dissolve the sugar. 

Transfer the fruit/sugar mixture to the saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Stir about every 30 seconds until it boils and then stir frequently until mixtures forms a gel on the back of a wooden spoon and fruit breaks down (50 - 60 minutes). Regular stirring will prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. 

To test setting point, remove the jam from heat and spoon some onto a cold saucer. Return to freezer for 30 seconds and then draw a line through it with your finger. If it doesn’t run back together, it’s ready. If not, cook another few minutes and then test again. If you can find them remove the cloves.
Ladle hot jam into warm sterilised jars and wipe them clean with a hot, damp cloth. Seal the bottles as soon as you can, and cool completely. The lids should vacuum seal as they cool. Store any that don’t in the refrigerator and eat those first.

To sterilise the jars, wash them well in hot soapy water. Rinse in hot clean water and turn them upside down and allow the jars to drain. Don’t wipe them dry. Turn them back up the right way and put on an oven tray. Place into a 100° Celsius oven for at least 10 – 15 minutes. Dry the lids with a lint free cloth.

2 comments: said...

Your scones loon absolutely delicious - but this jam would just take them right over the edge. I always thought that sterilising jars and sealing them was really tricky but you make it sound very managable, I think I'll give it a go!

Stitch1Peta said...

This is how I do it and always have. I was taught this method by both of my grandmothers. As long as it is a good fitting lid I have never had a problem.