Sunday, 14 August 2011

Hot Jam!

That's my jam!

Last weekend saw me at taking high tea with assorted yummy mummies at the Nutfield Priory Hotel. Endless cups of coffee were served alongside stacks of finger sandwiches, mini cakes, and cream teas. The scones were some of the best I've ever eaten!

Since then, I've been in the mind to test out a recipe for scones - something I've never attempted baking before. Random baking book in hand, the above beauties are what resulted. Crisp and golden on the outside, fluffy and warm in the middle. Three of those bad boys are sittin in my belly right now.

To top the scones, I ventured into another new territory: jam making!

Today I swallowed my wariness of wild berry picking after confirmation from assorted sources & a phone call to my mother-in-law (gotta play it safe, right?). With a plastic container in hand and the pup in tow, we set off into Surrey's rolling hills for some prime brambling spots.

Bramble Buddy

A few things I learned while wild berry picking:

1) Ensure berries are ripe and free of bugs when picking them - spiders and worms like to hang out with these juicy wonders.
2) Another of the blackberry's best friends is the stingy nettle! Safety is in a pair blue jeans.
3) Berries stain! Make them an old pair of blue jeans.
4) Wash thoroughly before eating. I soaked my findings in a bowl filled with cool water for several minutes, rinsed, then soaked again. Also, add a pinch of salt to the water to coax out any little critters that might be chillin in your berries.

Introducing:
Bramble Berry Preserve
(hot jam!)

Ingredients:
150g Blackberries
1tbsp Cold Water
180g Granulated Sugar
Juice from 1 Lemon

Directions:
Place the blackberries and water in a pan and bring to a boil for 15min, stirring occasionally.
Remaining at boil temperature, slowly stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Boil for several more minutes, then remove from heat. Cool the mixture before adding to a sterilised jar.*

*Geeky fact: Jar sterilisation helps you preserve jam for a longer length of time - without it going all manky. To sterilise your mason jar, fill a pan with cool water and place your empty jar into the water. Bring to a boil for approx 15min. Remove the jar using an oven mit or tongs - the glass will be very hot!! Set aside to cool before using.


Until next time...

Hearts

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