Portion/Yield:Makes 4 340g jars of greengage jam
Another one of my delicious jam recipes. I have a passion for savouring the glut that summer deliver by making preserves, jams and pickles. I do not like to let anything going to waste and turning left over fruits into jam is perfect for me. I prefer to make small batches of jam as this is quicker and the best way to get a good colour and taste from your fruits. This jam is perfect for making old fashioned jam tarts, spread in the centre of Victoria sandwich cakes, served with freshly bake scones and or simply served with a slice of toast for breakfast.
I have used normal caster sugar for this recipe as greengages contain a large quantity of natural pectin and it does not need help to set, however if you have plenty then use it, your jam will be firmer.
Ingredients & Method
- 1kg fresh greengages, stoned and cut into quarters
- 800g caster sugar (do not need pectin rich sugar for this recipe)
- 100ml cold water
- juice of 1 lemon
Place the greengages, sugar and water in to a heavy base saucepan, place over medium heat. Gently melt the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up and bring to a vigorous boil.
Wash the edges of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in hot water; this will prevent the jam from crystallising. Only stir a couple of times the jam while it is boiling, continuous stirring will encourage crystallisation however do not let your jam catch/ burn. Skim any impurities from the surface as it rises.
Boil the jam for about 20 – 25 minutes, temperature 104°C – 107°C; this is the ideal setting point for the jam.
When you reach the correct temperature remove the jam from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Have your jam jars ready, cleaned and sterilised, as it is important to decant the hot jam as soon as possible.
Cool the jam jars, clean and label them.
Crystallisation of Jam: It’s pretty annoying when this happens. Normally it’s only visual once the jam has cooled down completely. I have three simply preventable reasons why crystallisation could happen.
- One is if the sugar and fruit start to boil before all the “raw” sugar crystals have dissolved.
- Two is once the sugar has dissolved and the jam reached the vigorous boiling stage you did not wash the edges with a pastry brush dipped in hot water. As the “raw” sugar crystals get stuck to the edge of the pan and falls back in to the boiling syrup,the larger un-dissolved crystals accumulate molecules and this encourages the growth of large crystals know as crystallisation.
- Third is that you should not stir boiling jam or sugar syrup for that matter too much. If you continuously stir the boiling syrup it knocks the sugar crystals together and encourages the formation of larger crystals and crystallisation sets in once cooled.
Sterilising the jars: This is one of the most crucial tasks that you should never cut corners . If you not do this properly you might find your jam becomes mouldy and ferments sooner than expected. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Wash the jars in hot soapy water; do not dry them with a tea towel. Place the damp jars and lids on a clean baking tray; try not to touch the jars and lids on the insides. Place them in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Let the jars cool slightly before you scoop in the jam.
Other pointers are
- Never pour cold liquid in to hot glass jars, you will end up with broken glass
Take extra care when sterilising the jars, as if they are overheated they might explode.