Homemade Fruit Jam
It's worth making preserves and jams when you harvest your own fruit or buy it in season, but you can freeze fresh fruits like raspberries, strawberries and cranberries to make extra quantities of jam during the winter months. They'll make welcome gifts if you decorate the lids with pretty fabric and add a gift label. They are also a perfect addition to a Christmas gift basket.
4 lb. fruit, washed and destalked
7 1/2 cups water
6 lb. sugar
a pat of butter
10–12 jam jars
1. Defrost the fruit in a preserving pan or large, heavy-based pan. Add the water, bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 45 minutes.
2. Remove the pan from the heat, add the sugar to the fruit, stir until dissolved and add the butter. Then boil rapidly for 10–15 minutes.
3. Sterilize the jam jars and lids. Keep an eye on the boiling jam and stir it occasionally so that it does not stick to the bottom and burn.
4. Test to see if it's set every five minutes. When setting point is reached, let stand for 15 minutes, then pour into jars and seal with airtight lids. Tip: To test for setting point, spoon a little boiling jam onto a plate and leave in the fridge to cool. It is set if it forms a skin that wrinkles when you push it with your fingertip. If it is not set, boil the jam a little longer and re-test.