Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas: Last minute gifts - Cranberry and Apple Jam

Admittedly, this will take longer than the Turkish delight vodka, but the result is definitely worth it. This could be made even if you had only a few hours to spare before the next round of gift giving begins.

Bramley apples and cranberries are both in season now, so it's the time to make the most of this great Darina Allen recipe. This could be used as an accompaniment to either sweet or savory dishes and just who wouldn't like to receive a jar of this, wrapped up nicely?


1kg Bramley Apples
1kg cranberries
1.7kg sugar

Peel, core and chop the apples before adding them to a saucepan. A wide, low-sided pan will work best here. Add the cranberries and 300ml of water. Bring slowly to the boil and continue to cook over a medium heat until the apples and cranberries dissolve into pulp.

While the fruit is cooking, add the sugar to a pot or a stainless steel bowl and place in the oven at about 80 - 100C, for about 15 minutes. The sugar should feel hot to the touch, but don't leave in too long or it will start to caramelise. This is done to give a fresher tasting jam. The quicker it is made, the fresher it will taste. Cold sugar will take longer to bring back to the boil and won't taste as good.

Once the fruit has reached the pulp stage, add the warmed sugar and stir to dissolve. Increase the heat and cook until the jam reaches a set. Skim the top of the jam with a spoon, to remove the scum. If there is still residue left after this, drop a tiny piece of butter, the size of a fingernail into the pan, this should dissolve the remainder.

Bottle in sterilised jars and cover while still hot. Store in a cool dry place. 

How to know when the jam is ready and will set - Before you begin place a plate in the fridge to chill. When you think the jam looks like it may set, place a spoonful on the cold plate. With a clean finger, push the outer edge of the puddle into the centre. If the jam wrinkles, even a little, it will set.

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