Traditional Jam making techniques

Jam making with fresh fruit is more or less boiling up equal quantities of fruit and sugar until it sets. When in doubt, work with moderate heat. The tendency is to overboil, so keep watching for the ‘set’ signal.

When making jam I use slightly less sugar than fruit, but when apples are added I use equal quantities of fruit and sugar – this applies to all ordinary fruit jams.

I cover these jams when quite cold. To test jam, put a tea-spoonful into a saucer – if it sets the jam is ready.

Rub round the gummed sides of labels with a little glycerine instead of water. Tlicy will stick better.

Never stir jam with a metal spoon, for it may discolour your jam. Use a wooden spoon. Fix an empty cotton-reel to the end of the wooden spoon, and you can then rest the spoon on the pan edge and it will not fall into the jam.

Always heat jars before filling them with jam. Stand the heated jars on a hot, wet cloth and the jars will not crack when filled. See that all lids fit correctly before you do the filling. Date all jars.

Also fill some meat-paste jars, as they come in handy for individual requirements in sandwich boxes for school bags or picnics.

DAMSON JAM 6 lb. Damsons, 5 lb. Sugar.

Use sufficient water just to cover the fruit in a preserving pan. Simmer until the fruit is soft, rub it through a sieve. Put the juice and stewed fruit back into the pan, add the sugar and boil until it sets when tested. 9-


This is a good stand-by for winter use when fresh-fruit stocks are used up. You need : 1 lb. Dried apricots, 1 ½ pints water, 3 lb. Sugar, a lemon.

Put prepared apricots to soak in water overnight. Strain lemon juice and cut rind into thin ribbon pieces or dice. Boil apricots in water until soft, then add all ingredients; boil slowly until set. Peach jam is made in the same way.

HEAVENLY JAM 3 lb. Grapes, 3 lb. Raisins, 6 oranges, 5 lb. Sugar. Seed grapes, grind them with the raisins and oranges through a mincer, add sugar and cook until thick.

PLUM JAM 3 lb. Plums, 2 lb. Sugar, 2 tablespoonfuls syrup (or 2½ lb. Sugar). Boil plums slowly in 1 cupful of water – remove stones – add sugar and syrup. Boil over a moderate heat until the jam sets.

STRAWBERRY JAM 2 lb. Strawberries, 2 sugar, 2 lemons, 1 gill water.

Wash fruit, cut into halves lengthwise. Cover with half of the sugar; add water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil and add the remainder of the sugar. Cook quickly, stirring all the time. Allow ro cool slightly before putting into hot jars.