Sunday, 19 March 2017

Raspberry and Apple Jam

The raspberry plants are bearing plenty of berries this year.  Earlier in the season it was pure joy to be in the berry patch every evening to pick them, but I have to admit that the (almost) hour that I now spend picking every day feels just a little tedious. So I do it in the mornings, when I'm still feeling fresh, and with my iPhone tucked into my bra, playing a podcast of one of Richard Fidler's interviews on ABC Radio National, I lose myself completely.
This week I listened twice to the Bill Leak interview, who sadly passed away last week. What a funny, and very clever man he was!
Today I listened to Felicity Kendall, which was totally enthralling. She and Richard Briers played the parts of Tom and Barbara Good in the 70's TV series "The Good Life".
It was my favorite TV program, as I was then in my twenties and yearned to live the good life way back then. Ha! A sign of things to come.

We generally can't keep up with eating them so they go into the freezer. Raspberries freeze very well, remaining as single berries with no preparation needed. Just freeze in air tight containers and use as needed.
My three freezers are full, and although I'm trying valiantly to empty one of them, (to have just two running and one as a spare), I'm fighting a losing battle. In just three weeks time there will be a whole pig to go in there somewhere.
So, I'm doing my best to move frozen stuff... into our bellies (meat), into jars (fruit and berries), or into bottles (tomatoes).
I've been making Raspberry jam, and filling it out a bit with apples, that are ripening on our trees.

As a jam maker, I love experimenting with blends of fruits and flavors, but I think it would be blasphemy to interfere with the pure and unique taste of raspberries, so I only want to use enough apple to stretch the raspberries a bit further without compromising the flavour.
The first batch I made this week I used 1kg of raspberries with 500g of apples.

Today I used half and half raspberries and apples. 1 kg of each.
They both taste good, but the second batch is not as raspberry tasting so I'll always use the first method in future.
So I've done the experiment for you and here are the measurements I used to make the better tasting batch of the two.

Raspberry and Apple Jam
You will need;
500g apples
1kg raspberries
1kg plus 250g  white sugar
1/2 cup water

Cook jams, sauces and chutneys in a large pan, allowing enough space to bubble and rise. It will be dangerously hot, and can spit.

500 g apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Half cup of water
Cook with lid on until the apples are soft, then mash with fork or potato masher.

At this point, take the lid off and leave it off.
On top of the apples pour in 1250g of white sugar (1kg plus 250g)
(It seems a lot, but I've already cut back on the usual recommended amount of "equal weight fruit to sugar.")
Heat through while stirring, it will almost dissolve the sugar.

Add 1kg of raspberries and stir to mix.

Keep the heat high enough to boil constantly, and stir frequently to prevent sticking on the bottom.

This will take approximately thirty minutes to one hour before it starts to thicken and look like bubbling larva.
Stir frequently!

Test for setting point by putting a dessertspoon of jam onto a saucer, and place in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Then, in very good light, move the spoon across slowly, and look for slight wrinkling on the surface of the jam. If there is wrinkling, it's sufficiently cooked and ready to pour into jars.
Another method is to run your finger through the jam. If it holds the gap, it is set enough to pour into jars.

Take off the heat and using a small jug, pour the hot jam into very clean dry jars. Screw on the metal lids immediately and they will seal as the jars cool. 

It's ready to eat immediately, but keeps well for more than a year in sealed jars, in a cool dark spot.

This calls for a batch of soda water scones.

Making jam is really simple, so if you haven't already tried it, why don't you give it a go.

Cheers from Jembella Farm kitchen, where I can be found every day this week, working at expanding  those spaces in the freezers.



  1. I dream of one day having too many raspberries!!

    1. But you have mangoes! I'd trade any day Liz. :)

  2. Sally, I think my husband planted raspberries 'down the back' at one stage. I don't venture down there too much but I must go and have a look if I can get through the weeds. I noticed a couple of mulberries forming today and thought that that was a bit early.

    1. You better go check out those raspberry plants Chel. I wonder when yours would be ready for picking as your climate is so different to ours.... our mulberries finished a month ago! Lots of containers of those in the freezer too. :)

  3. Given how much we spend on berries from the supermarket it is high time I took courage and try growing a few.

    1. I can understand why the high cost of berries Mr HM. I don't sell mine because I'd have to price them too high to cover all of my time and effort. They take ages to pick, and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Definitely worth growing for our own use though, and we know there are no sprays on them. I'd never buy berries because I know how difficult it is to control pests without sprays. Our raspberries are covered in Harlequin beetles, but they fall off when I'm picking, and they really don't do any damage to the berries. I used to waste so much time and energy trying to eradicate them, but now I learn to live alongside them. Can highly recommend planting some raspberries, strawberries.

  4. I love Richard Fidler's podcasts, and I'll definitely be looking up that Felicity Kendall interview, that was my all time favourite show when I was a kid, and I recently borrowed the first season from the library to rewatch. As you say a sign of things to come, I only wish I was living more that way! Your jam looks great, I must look into planting some raspberries.

    1. Cheryl I think I read on your blog about your borrowing the DVD of "The Good Life". Felicity Kendall was a delight to listen to. Very British, but in a wonderful way, and her life story is fascinating.

  5. I made quince paste on the weekend - 14 little tubs of it! That jam looks lovely, I can only imagine the taste!

    1. Ooooh where did you find quinces this early Joolz? Ours aren't quite ripe yet, but there will be lots of jelly and paste churning out of this kitchen soon. One of the local winery Cellar doors buys as much as I can make for their lovely tasting platters.

  6. Jam and scones...yum! I envy you your raspberry harvest. I planted two little native raspberry bushes here and I think I need to move them. One was half dug out by a scrub turkey chick and the other hasn't grown much at all. Thinking new position in garden required! Meg:)

    1. Meg it's all relative though isn't it? I'd give my right hand for mangoes, which you probably have oodles of, and think are no big deal, like we do here in the south. Those scrub turkeys must be very challenging to live with!


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