Finally, I can make all the jams and preserves I've been craving so much. Well, not all of them as I I don't have much space to store them for the bleak winter days ahead. When I grow up ( at this rate that will never happen!), I'll have a special pantry just for jams and preserves. A special little nook for concoctions like green tomato and fig jam, chili-vanilla red currant jam and the like.
You know, for the cave woman in me, just to evoke those primeval feelings of self sufficiency and survival.
Until then, I'll keep it simple. I made this tutti frutti jam from leftover fruit. Jam making is easy if you stick to some basic rules. It's just fruit+sugar (a concentration of over 60 % of sugar will create a hostile environment for those nasty micro-organisms),+ some lemon juice for some added pectin. I made this jam using equal amounts of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, red currants and apricots. Mixing low pectin fruits(cherries, strawberries) with high pectin ones( raspberries, red currants) will make for a not overly sweet or overcooked jam, as the jam will set faster, giving you a real fruity taste.
Make sure you use sterilized jars. You wouldn't want those previously mentioned micro-organisms taking up residence in your jam, now would you?
Tutti Frutti Jam
1400 g of cherries, red currants, strawberries, raspberries, and apricots (equal amounts)
850 g sugar
juice of one lemon
Wash and clean all fruits, halve and stone your cherries and apricots.
Add all fruits to a medium sized pan and cook over medium heat until they release some of their juices. Add sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium high and cook until setting point is reached. A simple method to check the setting point is to put a saucer in the freezer when you start making the jam.Then, when your jam has somewhat thickened drop a little jam on the cold saucer and let it cool for a minute or two. Push with your finger. If the jam crinkles, setting point has been reached. If it looks too runny, boil for a few more minutes then test again. Remember this will be a soft set jam, unlike the store bought hard or jelly like varieties.
When setting point has been reached, remove jam from heat and pour into hot sterilized jars.
Have a regal Sunday breakfast by serving this fruity goodness on some toasted apricot bread, slathered with ricotta cheese.