Making Jam…..

I had always fancied the idea of making Jam and before we moved to NZ that’s what it was …an idea but never actually ever did it.

I have a variety of Jam pans in a variety of sizes along with an ever increasing stash of jars….I was very lucky to get a huge amount of Agee Jars – I saw a trade on TradeMe (NZ online auction site), the lady who was selling them actually just wanted to get rid of them. When we got there she had loads..and basically said to take them all – so there was something in the region of 60 odd jars ..FREE! ……They are and will continue to be VERY much appreciated.

So armed with all my jars and my various pans I have made various jams with various degrees of success.  I have to say that up until about a tear ago  I did find the whole process a bit of a hassle with the set up and clean up so whilst I persisted in making Jam it was something that I found I was kind of steeling myself for……

All that has changed though since I got an…..ELECTRIC JAM MAKER..!!

Now on the face of it you would have thought that NZ being the pioneering country that it is would have access to these but they don’t… so my dear Mum got me mine from the UK….IT IS FANTASTIC!!! (so much so I’m getting another one!)

It’s about the size of an electric wok (and as you can see similar in shape) – it takes a kilo of fruit with the addition of sugar and a bit of water you are probably looking at 3 ‘normal’ jars of jam at a time (can’t remember the size of them but you get what I mean eh?)…once you have added your fruit etc you pick the programme you want to use and then you can walk away – it brings everything up to temperature and stirs it throughout the programme. When it’s finished it has a beeper that goes off .

I think they are great and it even has a “clean mode” so it does the bulk of the cleaning for you.

Now whilst the whole stirring and cleaning thing is a real bonus because you don’t have to stand over the pan for the entire time what I love is that (in addition to that) you can make small amounts of jam or other things (it’s not just limited to jam) ~ I have made chutney and many many really nice Rice Puddings (… they are really nice..and that’s not just my opinion!).

All of these things put together have made the whole setup to get going much less of a “Right let’s do this” activity –  the small amounts that can be made mean that we don’t end up with 10kgs of plum jam (unless we want to), we can have lots of different flavours.

In the last couple of years we have been very lucky to get fruit and veg for our pigs…the plus of this has been that on numerous occasions we have lots of fruit that has been absolutely fine and so we’ve had lots of Jam as a result…and all that’s cost us is the price of the sugar!

Kiwi Fruit & Vanilla

In addition I’ve made sauces and Pickle (found one that was similar to “that” British Pickle….rather nice!).

I anyone asks me if I thought it was worth buying they would get a resounding yes….I just wish that the wonderful people at Tefal would consider supplying it in the Southern Hemisphere!

The other thing this wonderful piece of kit has allowed me to do is experiment without the fear of wasting huge amounts of fruit. The end result has been some rather tasty jars created….the Peach & Amaretto Jam has been VERY successful – tried it out on the colleagues at work…VERY popular flavour. I want to make jams that I can’t buy in the shops where at all possible so that it makes it worth it……so far as you may have gathered I’m happy with the results.

I thought I will add to the lists below as I try different recipes/combinations..I’ll stick comments next to them with what my opinion is of the combinations – just my personal opinion but hey it’s all I’ve got……

JAM SO FAR:

  • Peach & Amaretto ~ Very yummy
  • Cherry & Amaretto ~ Very yummy
  • Strawberry & Black Pepper  ~ Very yummy..the black pepper changes the taste of the strawberries just slightly…opinion in this house is it really works.
  • Kiwi Fruit & Vanilla
  • Cherry & Vanilla
  • Peach & Vanilla
  • Orange Marmalade ~ last lot is lovely ..the first batch I made was like cement…tasted nice when you could finally get it out of the jar LOL!!
  • Grapefruit Marmalade ~  Mmmm
  • Zucchini (Courgette) Butter – Oh Yeah!!!
  • Zucchini (Courgette) Christmas Mince – Double yeah…no seriously !!!
I will sort out recipes asap.
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