Wednesday, 26 June 2013
My fingers have been itching to make something - anything - of late, but there has been rather a lot of deadlines and computer work and very little time for anything else. But I finished a big piece of work yesterday, around mid-afternoon, and hurtled into the kitchen to make a batch of jam. I wanted to use some of the elderflowers which have exploded into bloom around us. I've never seen so much of that fuzzy creamy yellow blossom in the hedgerows.
Amazing how something so pretty can come from such a run of the mill plant. Anyway, I spotted a recipe for elderflower and gooseberry jam in the June issue of The Simple Things. I think it is one of Alys Fowler's recipes from her latest book. And I thought, we have gooseberries and elderflowers in our garden, so there is no excuse...
I did cheat a little and used half a kilo of gooseberries that I froze last year, and half a kilo from this year. It was a really easy recipe. I just popped five elderflower heads into a muslin bag, then stewed this with the gooseberries until soft. I added 800g of sugar, let it dissolve slowly, then brought the pan to the boil and it took about 25 minutes to reach setting point (when a thin skin wrinkles the surface of the jam). What amazes me is how the gooseberries turn from this vivid green to a deep pink....
The elderflowers and gooseberries cost me nothing, the sugar was 75p, so each of my three jars worked out at just about 25p each!
In the article it recommends eating the jam on buttery croissants, but a slightly healthier version (and only slightly when you like butter as much as I do) is home made scones...
Being a rather impatient soul, I didn't top and tail my gooseberries as conscientiously as I should have done, hence the black fleck in my jam (which looks unfortunately like a fly).
I may also use some of this jam in a cake for my party next weekend. I thought a vanilla sponge with an elderflower icing and gooseberry jam filling would taste really summery.