Friday, 6 December 2013

Winter Spice Jam

This autumn, I made my first ever batch of jam and was completely surprised at how easy it was to make really nice homemade jam, so I've been making more ever since! Pretty much every time I realise that I have enough empty jam jars, I get a new batch on the go. I've made pear and apple jam, pineapple jam and last week I tried out making up my own recipe, winter spice jam.

Recipe: Winter Spice Jam

  •  1.5kg apples (peeled, cored and grated)
  • Juice from 3 lemons
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 30 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1.5kg sugar
  • 250g sultanas
  • 250g dried cranberries

In a large pan, simmer the apples and spices with the lemon juice until soft (about 30 minutes). If necessary, add water to the pan to ensure it does not become too dry.

Add the sugar and simmer until the jam reaches its setting point (about 30 mins). I like to use the plate in the freezer method for checking whether the jam is at setting point yet.

Fish out as many of the spices as you can. I ended up leaving most of the cloves in but got the cinnamon sticks and star anise out. Some people suggest using a muslin bag to contain the spices to make fishing them out easier, which probably would have been a good idea!

Add the sultanas and cranberries to the jam mixture and simmer for another five minutes. You may want to add a little water at this point if the jam seems too stiff. I also used an immersion blender briefly to mash up the dried fruit a bit more before simmering.

Transfer the jam to sterilised jars, where it should keep for up to a year. With this recipe, I made enough jam to fill all the jars in the photo, but you could definitely halve or third the amounts used.

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