Sunday, May 16, 2010

Microwave jam and sulky knitting

I was rummaging in the freezer yesterday and happily found a bag full of strawberries from last summer's picking frenzy.  I'd noticed the homemade jam stocks were running a bit low so it was a great opportunity to indulge.

I let the strawberries defrost, drained off the liquid (added to gin - made an OK drink but not as nice as the mojito I had later on) and combined the same weight of sugar with the berries (300g each).  I meant to leave that for an hour so the sugar would dissolve, but the combination of cocktail, Dodgeball and sulky knitting (DH's jumper is tight around the armholes so is in time out therefore I've cast on a February Baby Cardigan) led to it macerating overnight.  This morning I warmed the mixture on full in the microwave for 10 mins then reduced the power and checked a couple of times for setting point.  It got there after 10 minutes and made one amazingly fruit filled pot of jam.

I make jam both in a huge catering pot on the stove when I've loads of fruit - crab apples and plums, I'm looking at you here - and in the microwave when I want to play, want to preserve particularly fresh tastes or I've not so much fruit.  I've tried strawberry both ways and the microwave is definitely tastier.  I'm quite proud of my jams.  The only one I haven't liked was physalis jam - if I remade it I'd do it again as a jelly as all the tiny pips were horrendous.  Otherr than that I've tried strawberry, plum, crab apple jelly, elderberry jelly, marrow and lemon and mulled wine jelly - the last a try to recreate a red wine jelly I once bought from France and have never found since.
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