Seasonal Recipes

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Jul 26

Free Printable Jam Labels From

Tagged in: packaging , labels

free downloadable jam labels

image from

Sibylle at the blog has three pages of these great free downloadable labels, as well as some ideas for dressing up jars.

Jul 18

Strawberry and Gooseberry Jam

Tagged in: summer , strawberries , jam , gooseberries

strawberry and gooseberry jam - frozen fruit

Strawberry jam is the classic, but the addition of gooseberries makes for a slightly tarter alternative. It's also a good way of increasing pectin levels, as gooseberries have a higher pectin content than strawberries.

I used frozen fruit for this jam, strawberries I'd picked from a fruit farm a few weeks earlier, and gooseberries from the garden. Both types of fruit had been prepared (hulled or top and tailed) then simmered for about 15 minutes before mashing with a potato masher and then frozen.
If you're pushed for time this can be a good way of spreading the jam making over a few days.

Jul 14

Storing Jam

Tagged in: tips , storing , jam

storing jam

How to store jam is often a concern, and space can sometimes become an issue if several types are made.

The traditional advice is to store jam in a cool, dry, dark place such as a larder or cellar. In modern houses under the stairs, or in a garage or shady shed may be the best option.

Jul 14

Storing Chutney

Tagged in: tips , storing , chutney

storing chutney

How to store chutney is often a concern, especially as most recipes suggest the preserve is best left to mature for several months before eating.

The traditional advice is to store chutney in a cool, dry, dark place such as a larder or cellar. In modern houses under the stairs, or in a garage or shady shed may be the best option.

Jul 02

Strawberry Jam

Tagged in: summer , strawberries , jam

strawberry jam - strawberries

Strawberry jam is the classic summer jam, and well worth making if you have access to lots of berries. Pick you own fruit farms are always good fun and prices can be around half of what you pay in the supermarkets and you also get to choose which berries to have, which in most cases for jam should be slightly under ripe.

Making strawberry jam is extremely simple, but care should be taken to get the setting point as strawberries are low in pectin and can often result in a runny jam. For this reason it's safer to use under ripe fruit (pectin levels are higher) and add the lemon juice as stated in the recipe.

Jun 18

Rhubarb Ketchup

Tagged in: rhubarb , ketchup

rhubarb ketchup - rhubarb

Our rhubarb has suffered a bit this year, not enough rain has meant it's produced less stems than usual and those that have appeared are now rather on the tough side. This recipe is a great way of using up tough old stems, and makes a good fruity alternative to the ever present tomato ketchup.

Historically ketchup has it's roots in a Chinese fish based sauce, which gained popularity with 17th century western travellers. The tomato based sauce did not appear until the early 19th century when an early recipe states that 'One hundred tomatoes will make four or five bottles and keep good for two or three years'.

May 12

Pectin Levels In Fruit

Tagged in: tips , pectin

Pectin is a naturally occurring carbohydrate found mostly in the skin and core of fruit, when combined with acid and sugar it forms a gel, the essential process for setting jam.

Different types of fruit have different levels of pectin content, and it is at it's highest levels in slightly under-ripe fruit.

May 10

Sterilising Jam Jars In The Dishwasher

Tagged in: tips

Sterilising jam jars in the dishwasher is a good option if you have a large number to process.

Reusing jam jars keeps costs down and is much better for the environment than using new jars.

Apr 28

Sterilising Jam Jars In The Oven

Tagged in: tips

sterilising jars - in tray

Reusing jam jars keeps costs down and is much better for the environment than using new jars.

First off it's important to carefully check the jars for cracks or chips, don't be tempted to use these as they can be hiding places for bacteria. Put these to another use such as making hanging tea light holders.

Apr 21

What is the wrinkle test?

Tagged in: tips

wrinkle test

The wrinkle test is often referred to in jam making recipes, but can be difficult to actually visualise unless shown.

Generally, after adding sugar to stewed fruit, the jam is boiled vigorously until it has reduced (water has evaporated) enough to set when cool, a point known as the setting point.

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