My Blog List

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Thrifty heaven


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.

http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3714891




17 comments:

  1. Ooo! This looks delicious and such a beautiful colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the colour too but I still don't know how it goes from bright green to pink!

      Delete
  2. hello,
    the jam looks delicious!!!! here in my part of the world is the blossomtime of elderberries over,
    thanks for sharing!!!
    have a nice time,
    regina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Regina
      Where abouts are you? Our elder blossom is very late here because of our cold spring.
      Fiona

      Delete
  3. Oh yum! I have some gooseberries in the freezer too, so you've inspired me ... thank you!

    Love Claire xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your pretty lid hats. I made gooseberry and elderflower fool last year from a Hugh F-W recipe which was absolutely gorgeous. Yesterday I made 4 bottles of Elderflower Cordial and may have to make some more as our garden is overflowing with the flower heads this year and I hate to waste them. That cake sounds lovely. Karen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds delicious Karen. I'll have a look in my F-W cookbooks. Hugh's recipes never fail me and we have more gooseberries coming through. I might try some cordial again this year, too.

      Delete
    2. The fool recipe is in his first River Cottage cookbook and the cordial we make is from Preserves by Pam Corbin but we use 750gm of sugar as last year the full kilo she uses made it too sweet for us. Karen

      Delete
  5. Delicious - love the doilies as a topper for the jam. I have just finished making the elderflower cordial and the children have nearly drunk it all already. A bit late in flowering this year I think
    Best wishes
    Jenny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jenny
      Yes, I think about three weeks later than usual, but there seems to be more of it to make up for the delay!

      Delete
  6. It looks delicious, even with fly! Love those little jars too! :) x

    ReplyDelete
  7. It looks and sounds wonderful, that scone with butter and jam has me salivating!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It looks delicious and such a pretty colour, I have just planted a gooseberry bush so maybe next year I shall have a go at making some jam...Thea x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just to help you out with moving your Google Reader, follow my easy and simple tutorial here: http://networkedblogs.com/MobwY
    Good luck!
    Mariette
    gplus.to/MariettesBacktoBasics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mariette, I am really grateful.

      Delete
  10. I make hedgerow jelly every year from foraged blackberries and found apples. I need to branch out into Elderflower. Sorry, pun not intended. I'd love a scone and some of your jam, please!

    ReplyDelete