The Jam Diaries.

In which I go all Womens’ institute….

During the post christmas clear out of my  larder I discovered a stash of Kilner jars, once intended for the autumn blackberry hedgerow harvest but lying sadly empty.

At the same time I also came across several jars of jam sugar bought for the same purpose, taking up space and not getting any fresher with the passing days.

The only solution to this sad state of affairs – to make jam.

Spiced Apple Jam

With the delicious soft fruits out of season I decided to try my hand at apple jam. The jam turns out as a golden coloured jelly, with the odd chunk of pale green apple sitting softly within it. The spices remind me of autumn or Christmas, this is a jam to be eaten on cold winter nights tucked up by the fire.


6lb of cooking apples

6lb jam sugar (the type with added pectin to help the jam set)

Juice and rind of one lemon

1 pint water

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1) Peel and core the apples.

2) Put into a large heavy bottomed pan with the water, spices, lemon juice and rind. Simmer until the apples turn pulpy and a golden brown colour.

3) Add the sugar and boil until set is reached – if you’ve got a sugar thermometer, this will be at 221 degrees. Otherwise you can use the saucer method. Put a spoon of the jam onto a saucer and leave for a few minutes (take the jam off the heat while you’re doing this so it doesn’t over boil), when it sets the top of the jam should wrinkle when you push it with a finger. If it doesn’t set or wrinkle you need to boil it for longer.

4) Put the jam into jars – remember to sterilise first! -and seal.

5) Enjoy with toast, scones or cake!


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