Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Apple and Ginger Jam

My Larousse des Confitures has a recipe for Confiture de pomme au gingembre.

About last October, a friend came over with a bunch of apples from a tree in her garden, and we made our own version, basing it on the Larousse recipe, but adapting it a bit as per the fact that I suddenly realised that I didn't actually have any powdered ginger, although I had thought that I did.

- 2 non-treated lemons
- 70 g (approximately) ginger preserved in syrup
- 1.2 kg apples
- about half the syrup from the jar (well, my jar is 200g, 140g drained weight, so I make that about 30 g of syrup, which is an odd way of measuring it)
- 1 kg sugar
- 30cl water (I remember doubling this, as our apples weren't very juicy)

Remove the zest from the lemons, and chop finely. Juice the lemons. Chop the preserved ginger quite finely.

Peel the apples, slice them, and put them in the pan, with the lemon juice. (The Larousse says to add the seeds of the apples, wrapped in a little muslin packet, to the pan. We did this the first time we made it. We didn't the second time, since we forgot, and it made no discernible difference.) Add the lemon zest and the water.

Cook until the fruit is tender. Add the sugar and the ginger syrup, stirring gently, until it's completely dissolved. Bring to a boil, skim (we didn't bother, again, it didn't seem to make much difference.), and cook until it sets.

The Larousse seems to think the above step will take 10 minutes. It took our jam about an hour.

When the jam is ready, take it off the heat, add the preserved ginger, stir it in, bring it back to the boil. Put it in pots and, according to my friend, stand back and watch your family fight over them! As for me- well, my dad loves it.

Also last autumn, having identified the berries growing down at the bottom of the hill as sloes, I attempted sloe jam. I used this recipe, using about 80% sugar to 100% fruit. Suffice to say that the result is so tannic that its only use could be in a sauce for duck- which is not something I cook very often! I thus have two pots sitting on the window ledge, waiting for the day when I get the strength to open them and tip the contents out. Which will take a while, as I've tried, and just can't get the lids off. A shame, but next year I'll probably make sloe gin instead for a Christmas present for my mother-in-law.

I also made sloe and apple jelly, but since I haven't opened that pot yet, I can't report!

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