Persil challenged us to make jam. I have always fancied it. But thought it must be hard. Turns out it is really, really easy and hugely satisfying and perhaps this was the best day spent at home of our summer holidays.
The day started on the old railway line, picking lots of blackberries. Then to the corner shop to buy sugar and back home to start jam making using a blackberry and apple jam recipe from Kimberley Wilson’s Jam Dual Recipes.
Blackberry and Vanilla Jam
Ingredients – blackberries, sugar, vanilla bean paste, 1 vanilla pod
1. 1kg of blackberries to 1 kg of fruit, you can make less or more but make sure you have only filled the pan one third full as jam rises when boiled.
3, Turn up the heat and boil until the temperature reaches 106 degrees C.
I gave the kids an old flip cam to play with over the summer, they had great fun making silly films and recording their jam making exploits.
A thermometer is really handy as it tells you when the jam is jam hot! There are old school ways of doing this, but I am happy to pick those up as I go along.
4, Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little, at this point Kimblerley adds 1 tsp of vanilla paste, but we didn’t have any (our jam was still jamtastic!).
5, We had washed the jars in hot soapy water, rinsed them and used the microwave sterilisation method on the jars for speed and ease, but you have lots of options, and a quick google is all you need.
6, A jam funnel is really handy to get the warm jam into the warm jars. You can strain the jam through muslin, but we like fruit bits!
7, Add the vanilla pod, pressing it into the centre of the jam. Seal with a greaseproof disk and lid.
8, Store in a cool dark place and allow to sit for a month before use.
When the pan had cooled I let her taste it, as you can see she delighted in making a mess of her Persil apron.
They were genuinely fascinated to see if the Dual Action tablets (they contain stain remover and powder in one capsule) could get the stains out of their clothes and the apron and sat munching their sandwiches in front of the washing machine, until they realised it might take an hour.
Mr G loved making labels most, I asked him to make me a label that would remind me of our days in the Summer when we were back at school as the jam needs to rest for a month. Here he is deep in thought. I love what he came up with.
We did cheat and use our jam the next day to sandwich a chocolate cake, the recipe is my mum’s easy chocolate sponge, I mixed the jam with Greek yogurt. You can see the lovely label, with Mr G’s family picture on the left, Miss L’s n the right says ‘Hands off My Jam’ which we spent the day singing to the tune of Pump Up the Jam. Happy days.
We have since tasted the jam and it is out of this world. The flavour of the blackberries is so intense that it almost tastes like cherries. I haven’t tasted jam like it and I will never ever eat shop jam again.
And, you will be glad to know, the stains came out of the clothes and apron.
Thanks for making this a summer to remember Persil.