In order to do something different each week of the year, I have a list of challenges to undertake...

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Week 29 - Make a Batch of Jam or Jelly

I'm not very good at making jams and jellies - it's the setting point bit. I guess that it's one of those 'practice makes perfect' things, but I don't practice very much as I'm not very good at it - a catch 22 situation. 

Instead, if I have lots of fruit that needs making into something, it generally gets turned into wine. I'm quite good at that.

But as a consequence of spending all day yesterday fighting the bed containing a 6' high currant hedge with a pair of loppers in order to turn it back into a bed containing four bushes, I ended up with an awful lot of redcurrants and blackcurrants. There's certainly enough for wine and redcurrant jelly.

The recipe I have is rather vague (it's one of those that says 'simmer until cooked', and 'until you reach the setting point' as opposed to proper times. I mean, am I looking for the setting point after 3 minutes or 2 hours??) so I looked online and found that the sainted Delia has a super simple recipe.

You cook the currants for about 10 minutes, squashing them with the potato masher to get the juice out; add the same weight in warmed sugar, stirring till dissolved; then a rolling boil for 8 minutes; strain the lot through a muslin square and put into sterlised jam jars.


A slight downside to the method is that the jelly starts to set as soon as it is being strained, so you can't hang around waiting before you put it in the jars. I am also rather skeptical about how solid it is going to get - I suspect that it might charitably be referred to as 'soft set', but I'll see in the morning once it has totally cooled.

No matter how the set is, one jar will be entered into the Hill Annual Show in a couple of weeks - and even if it doesn't do well, I've no doubt that it will taste superb!

So that's my week 29 Challenge - done!


  1. It looks lovely and brave you for doing it. My jam making efforts must have been about 40 years ago and were a complete disaster, so I've never tried again. The colour is certainly pretty. How about some scones now with the jelly spread on top. Think I'll pop round.(giggle).

    1. People who make jam all say the same thing - how easy it is. Well, I don't think it is! I was right about the set, it is 'soft', but it's ok.

      Put it this way, I don't think it will win a prize in this year's Show, but then again, I won't actually be embarrassed to enter it.

      Mmm - scones! Haven't made any for ages!