Turn July into Jam!

There is something downright pleasurable about staying somewhere new, taking time to have breakfast or afternoon tea, and spooning a thick jam or conserve, gleaming with summer fruit onto hot buttered toast, warm pancakes, or scones.

Homemade jams remind us and take us back to previous summer times and kitchen memories of special wooden spoons, well used and set aside for the purpose, fruit and jam pans gently bubbling, warm kitchen scents, pieces of muslin, gleaming waxy discs and hand written labels.

July is a perfect month for making small batches of jams or jellies, and even fruit curd. Choose fruit well, slightly under ripe, and get all the ingredients and equipment together and get jamming! Depending on the weather July is especially good for harvesting blackcurrants, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, loganberries and redcurrants.

Here’s a favourite jam recipe from August Farmhouse at Cotswold Village Rooms.

Rhubarb & Orange Jam made by Caroline at August Farmhouse 

Preparation: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins Ready: 60mins

1.2kg fresh rhubarb, chopped in small bite-sized chunks
400g caster sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
80ml orange juice
125ml water

What to do:
In a saucepan combine the rhubarb, sugar, orange zest and water. Bring to the boil, turn heat down and cook over medium heat, for at least 50 minutes stirring occasionally, until thick. As the jam cools it will thicken further. Spoon into clean, hot jars and seal with wax disc and lid. Label and date. Cool and store in fridge. Gorgeous on warm scones with thick cream.

Just a tip:
After the jam comes to the boil test for the setting point by putting a small amount of jam onto a cold plate. If you gently push the jam with a fingertip and it wrinkles it’s ready to be spooned carefully into ready prepared jars. Be prepared for it to take some boiling time for the setting point to be reached.