We have lots of gooseberries this year. Google tells me that you need to pick half of the berries early for pies & jams and then leave the remainder to fatten up and ripen fully. So we picked half of the crop and made mini gooseberry crumbles.
What do you do with 4+ kilos of home grown and slightly undersized grapes? Make jam of course!
Well that was the plan. It possibly wasnt the best idea we had ever had. A grape cake or dessert may have been a bit quicker. However the final product was well worth it. It turns out Grape jam is really delicious if you are prepared to put in the time. (1 weekend and 3 evenings it took us)
For every kilo of grapes you will need 500g of jam sugar (with pectin). We made our jam in 1 kilo batches because I read somewhere it makes setting easier.
The first step of making the jam is to remove the seeds. The best way of doing this is to peel the grapes and boil the skins and flesh in separate saucepans, adding 500ml of water to the skins. After a little while the flesh will seperate from the seeds and then you will be able to sieve them to remove them. Our type of grapes popped out of their skins with a little pinch. This was by far the most time consuming part.
Next mix the flesh and the skins (you may wish to blend the skins a little to make them smaller) back together and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the sugar. Once it has all disolved bring the mixture back to the boil.
The hardest part is getting the right thickness. Keep boiling the jam until it reaches the right consistency. This can be checked by placing a little of the mixture on a cold plate and placing it in the freezer for a minute. If its done it will gather up when you push your finger into it. Out of the 4 batches I only managed to get this right once. The other batches had to be reboiled the next day or became a little too thick!
And here is the final product. 24 jars of jam in total (15 jars below). I still to need to make some pretty labels but other wise we are really pleased with how they turned out.
Whilst Avocado tree attempt #1 gets underway in its plant pot, I thought I would hedge my bets and start off a second using one of the other methods described on the fruit expert website.
Fingers crossed one of these will produce a little tree for me!