Jam Session

Extra yummy on brown bread!

Today I bring you courgette and lemon jam.  It looks like pickles and tastes like a lemon drop.  Please don’t let it’s look turn you off–it is absolutely delicious and a lovely way to use all those extra zucchini.  Found it in this article in the Guardian and had to try it.

I had to re-boil it because apparently I didn’t take it far enough—although the crinkle test worked the first time, so now I wouldn’t trust it.  Get your candy thermometer ready and go for it.  Also dying to try the rest of the recipes in this article, if they are half as good as this one it will be well worth it!!

Enjoy.

Carrot jam

Delicious on hot toast or crumpets. Makes about three 450g jars.

1kg carrots, peeled and grated
Finely grated rind and strained juice of 2 lemons
Finely grated rind and strained juice of 1 orange
900g granulated sugar
2-3 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
1 tsp grated nutmeg

Put the carrots, juices, zest and sugar into a preserving pan, and stir. Tie the cinnamon and cloves into a small circle of muslin, tie with kitchen string and place in the middle of the carrots. Leave overnight to macerate.

Pour over about 900ml water, add the nutmeg, warm and stir until any sugar crystals have dissolved. Bring to the boil. Boil until it reaches its setting point, about 30-40 minutes; test to see if it’s ready using a chilled saucer (see above). Carefully fish out the spice bag. Cool for 10 minutes, then pour into warm, sterilised jars and cover with lids or waxed paper discs and cellophane covers while still hot. Store in a cool, dry place and use within one year.

Green tomato marmalade

Add chopped crystallised ginger to this if you like, though it’s good just as it is. Makes about four 450g jars.

5 lemons
1.5kg green tomatoes, cored and cut into 5mm dice
1.7kg granulated sugar

Use a sharp peeler to remove lemon zest in long, thin strips, being careful not to remove any pith, then cut zest into thin strips. Fill a small pan with about 250ml water, bring to the boil, add zest and simmer for two minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and reserve.

Peel the pith from the lemons, removing as much as you can, then roughly chop the flesh, reserving the pips. Wrap them in a little circle of muslin and tie with kitchen string.

Put the tomatoes into a preserving pan with the lemon zest and flesh, and sugar. Give it a good stir and leave to macerate overnight, then add the bag of pips and 700ml water. Stir over a low heat until any remaining sugar crystals have dissolved. Raise the heat, bring to a rolling boil and boil until the setting point is reached – about 30-40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then pour into jars and store as in previous recipe.

Pumpkin and ginger jam

The sweetness of the pumpkin goes beautifully with the gentle heat of the ginger. Makes four 280g jars.

1kg pumpkin or butternut squash, weight when peeled and seeds removed, cut into 5mm cubes
150g crystallised ginger, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
900g granulated sugar
Juice and finely grated zest of a lemon
Juice and finely grated zest of a small orange

Put the pumpkin or squash in a preserving pan with both gingers, the sugar, lemon and orange zest; stir well and leave overnight to macerate. When you’re ready to cook it, add 100ml water, give everything a good stir and place the pan over a low heat. Cook gently, stirring, until any remaining sugar crystals have dissolved. Add the lemon and orange juice, bring to the boil and let it bubble away until it reaches the setting point, about 25-30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then pour into jars and store as in previous recipe.

Tomato and chilli jam

Using four chillies makes this  a very spicy jam – add fewer for a milder version. Serve with strong cheddars or soft goat’s cheeses, or thin it with hot water and use it as a glaze for grilled or roasted pork or lamb. Makes about three 450g jars.

1kg ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 thumb of ginger, finely minced
2-4 red chillies, halved, membranes and seeds removed, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 star anise 
600g granulated sugar 
200ml cider vinegar

Warm tomatoes, ginger, chillies, garlic and star anise in a preserving pan with the sugar and vinegar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer, stirring regularly, for about 20 minutes or until the jam has thickened, then pour into jars and store as in previous recipe.

Courgette and lemon jam

This jam has a delicate flavour and is delicious on scones or in thick Greek yoghurt. Add lemon verbena if you can find some, but it’s good without it, too. Makes about four 450g jars.

1kg courgettes, topped and tailed, and cut into 5mm dice
1kg granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp finely shredded lemon verbena leaves (optional)

Put the courgettes into a preserving pan with the sugar and lemon zest. Stir and leave overnight to macerate.

Pour in 250ml water and warm over medium heat, stirring until any remaining sugar crystals have dissolved. Pour in the lemon juice, stir and bring to the boil. Boil until the setting point is reached, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon verbena if using and cool for 10 minutes, then pour into jars and store as in previous recipe. •

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