jams & chutney

orange marmalade jam

6th February 2012

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There is an orange tree that sits right on the edge of the vegetable garden. In Spring, the citrus trees are in full bloom and two of the triangles are carpeted with their snowy, white blossoms.  The air is sweet, pungent and glorious.  It’s scent follows you around wherever you go. In Summer, the blossoms are replaced with round, green balls of fruit and in Autumn, the fruit starts to blush a soft yellow.  And by the start of Winter, the two triangles in the vegetable garden are carpeted with oranges that fall ripe and ready from the tree.  This year these oranges are small.  It was a long, hot, dry Summer and this poor little tree suffered. I did find some bigger ones though and their juice is sweet.  Perfect for a sticky, orange marmalade jam with a taste of sun on toast.

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orange marmalade jam

Makes 4 jars

ingredients 

1 kg juicy oranges – approx 5 large oranges

1 lemon

500g light brown sugar

preparation 

1.  Using a small, sharp kitchen knife, cut the oranges and lemon in half, then in half again so that you have quarters.  Scoop out as many seeds as you can and thinly slice each quarter into fine shreds and small pieces (or thicker slices if you like a chunkier texture).

2.  Place the oranges, lemon shreds and sugar into a heavy-bottomed pan, bring to boil, cover, then lower the heat so that the liquid continues to simmer merrily – simmer, covered for 3 hours until the peel is soft.  In intervals, lift the lid and scoop off any seeds you may have missed that have floated to the surface and stir.

3.  Ladle into sterilised pots and seal.  Freeze the jars and defrost as needed.  Because of the low sugar content, the jam needs to be kept in the fridge.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

strawberry jam

8th May 2011

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Someone had left a big bucket of beautiful, very ripe strawberries in my kitchen while I was out on my afternoon walk.  I am sure I will find out who it was over the next few days.  Living in a Moshav and having a very open house allows neighbours, friends and children to wander in and out as they please. They look like they were picked fresh from the fields which are nearby.  We are spoilt with our strawberries this time of year, being able to buy them freshly picked from the fields, if the time it right.  These were perfectly ripe for making strawberry jam.

This recipe is based on Anna’s recipe and it makes about 6 medium jars which I freeze as I need them.  What I love most about this recipe is that it allows for the sweetness of the strawberries to come through without being overpowered by the sugar.  Because of the less sugar, it is a little on the watery side and I do end up scooping it out with a spoon onto my bread.  The taste is sensationally strawberry-sweet!

I have grown them in the garden a few times, but the ruby-red, ripening fruit would lure in my three peacocks, and they would always find them before I did.  Now I have replanted them in a sunny corner in the garden, just outside my kitchen window, so I can enjoy watching our peacocks find them as a surprise treat.

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strawberry jam

For jam making I prefer the smaller strawberries, they have much less water content.  If using the larger ones buy them very ripe.  This is a very easy recipe that requires no chopping.

Makes 6 – 7 jars

ingredients 

2 kg small strawberries, rinsed and topped

700g light brown sugar

preparation 

1.  Place the strawberries in a wide, deep saucepan and sprinkle over the sugar, allow them to sit overnight, so all the juices can be drawn out of the strawberries.

2.  The next morning, bring to boil and boil rapidly for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to settle for 30 minutes, then using a potato masher and roughly break up the strawberries.

3.  Scoop up all this red goodness into sterilised glass jars.  Because of the low sugar content, this jam needs to be refrigerated.  Close your eyes and enjoy the lingering smell that fills the kitchen, just for a moment or two.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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