Growing up I cannot remember ever having a store bought jam in our family kitchen.
I grew up in Gosford, on the NSW Central Coast. In the 1980s it was close to many farms, primarily on Mangrove Mountain. My parents had numerous friends and colleagues who were farmers, and it wasn’t uncommon to come home to a box or two of just-overripe fruit, or must-be-canned-immediately veggies.
At the time I dreaded those boxes, as I knew I would be put to work. Plus, I hate stewed fruit. Ick. To this day I struggle with stewed plums, largely as mum never put enough sugar in, so they were mouth-puckeringly tart! Not even a massive bowl of Streets vanilla ice cream could save them.
The arrival of the boxes was particularly common in stone fruit season when mum would be the recipient of boxes and boxes of plums, peaches and nectarines. I say mum, as she was chief canner and jam maker.
This generosity continued all my parents’ lives. On my last visit to dad, three years ago, he had a massive bag of avocados. I was a bit surprised as he loathed avocados. I know. How could we be related! Anyway, they came from a grateful client as a thank you for some work he did (the client did also pay his fee, in case you were wondering).
So when we were driving home from Maryborough last weekend, I couldn’t resist the $2 bucket of nectarines for sale at the roadside stall near Tiaro (I also bought a massive tray of about 35 mangoes for $20, but that’s for another day!).
The nectarines weren’t being eaten as fast as the fruit flies were multiplying, and a quick forage in the fridge also alerted me to a few peaches needing some attention. Less than an hour later and I had a couple of jars of beautiful jam. It actually took longer for me to find a couple of suitable jars with lids than it did for me to make the jam! Thank you Thermomix!
What you need:
- 1.2kg of peaches and nectarines (either or a combination of both) after the bruised bits have been cut, and the stone removed (should yield about 1kg of fruit) – no need to remove the skin
- 1 granny smith apple
- 280g sugar – I use raw
What you do:
- Core the apple, cut into quarters and pop in the Thermomix bowl, blitz on speed 7, 3 seconds
- Add the sugar and fruit, blitz on speed 4 for 5 seconds
- Cook, Varoma temp, speed 1, reverse for 45-50 minutes
- Spoon the hot jam into sterilised hot jars (I wash mine in hot soapy water, rinse, then pop in the oven on 100c for 10 minutes until they are hot and dry). Put the lid on the jar and invert for about 5 minutes, then turn jars upright and set aside to cool.
I really like this recipe as it uses an apple to produce the pectin, instead of lemon juice. Particularly today when I have two granny smiths in the fruit bowl and no lemons!
Have you ever made jam? What’s your favourite?
P.S. This is my first Photo-a-day. Thanks to my friends Donna and Susan for encouraging me at breakfast. I’ve not previously been great at this types of challenges – Cooking the Books anyone?? – but this seems kind of easy. I think. Anyway, I’ll try and write a little story to go with each photo, but you can follow me on Instagram @melkettle for all the photos in case the story part all gets to be a bit too much!
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