Christmas is coming..!!!
Well as the year is drawing to its end..its time to be thinking of Christmas , in so many ways. From budgeting for the expense, thinking of gift buying, readying the house for the Season.. writing cards, visiting friends and family , all that food preparation and storage needed.
I often do a little stocktaking and emptying of cabinets and using up foods in the freezer in readiness, as most of us do.I had a few bags of frozen Cranberries that needed to be used before buying this years supply.
We love jams and conserves..so I wanted to make a preserve that pulled all our favourite Christmas flavours together..
so this is packed full of flavour,
12oz … 340g Cranberries fresh or frozen
3 large Oranges zested , then peeled and flesh supreme. squeeze as much juice as you can from the remnants ..
12 oz …. 340g finely diced peeled apple.. choose one that will hold its shape fairly well.. a dessert apple will be good.
4oz …. 115gwalnuts roughly broken..
4 oz ….. 115g Brown Sugar
1lb 8oz ….. 680g White sugar
1 level teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon..
10 Tablespoons of Port wine
1 small sachet pectin powder
1 plate chilled in fridge ready for set test
jars and lids ready …funnel ladle jam pan
If you water bath your products , you need a big pan with trivet, and lid.. or use a steam Canner.. or perhaps an electric Water Bath..
heat the brown sugar with 1 spoon water to make a caramel. this doesn’t take long and is very easy to burn.. take off heat and toss in the walnuts first coat thoroughly and then add apple. just cook through a little while in pan.. I used a stir fry pan..
put Cranberries, zested orange, orange flesh, and squeezed juice in your jam pan.. with the spices..warm through to gently cook the cranberry , then add the walnut apple mix, and cook for a few minutes longer.. its nice to let a few cranberries remain whole if you can..then add the Port wine ..
Now have your white sugar ready ,add the pectin powder to the sugar thoroughly mix, then add to the jam pan, reduce the heat and let the sugar dissolve fully..when dissolved turn up the heat to high , bring to a rolling boil.. and then time as per instruction on pectin that you are using.. This one took about 4 minutes.. take off heat.
Do a set point test on a cold plate, if it gels and wrinkles slightly your jam is ready.. if not return pan to heat and boil again for a minute or two…continue this until your jam is ready..
When set is achieved leave to settle ..sometimes a scummy foam appears when making jam, nothing to worry about , just keep skimming it off, it will make your finished product look much better..also a very small dash of butter will dissolve the scum ..
Now get ready to fill your very clean jars and lids..they need to be warm.. I hold them ready in a shallow pan of hot water and then fill and put lids on..they are then ready to transfer to the water bath or steam canner…. This process will sterilise everything inside and out, create a perfect seal and make your product very shelf stable and food safe.
For further reading with regard to Waterbath Canning , this is a good link..
Now once your jars are ready in the water bath or steam Canner process by boiling for 15 minutes.
when done remove carefully and put to cool on work surface covered with towel..leave for 24 hours.. Clean jars and then they are ready to label..
A gorgeous preserve to enjoy in so many ways, as a spread, as a savoury with cheese or meats etc.. tart filling , a real taste of Christmas !!
Serve and Enjoy..