Here is a firm family favourite of ours. The word ‘Delicious’ doesn’t even come close! Obviously Raspberries are not in season this time of year and melons tend not to be on special at the supermarket as they are mostly imported! So my advice today is to make this amazing combo when the ingredients are in season, or if like me, you can’t wait, frozen raspberries are just fine. You will need to buy yourself a large honeydew or galia melon. Deseed and skin your melon and cut into small bite size pieces. Place in a freezer bag and freeze overnight. Unripe melon actually works better than ripe as there is much more fibre.
You might remember back in October when we looked at pumpkin and ginger jam, we removed a good volume of the liquid after freezing and defrosting the cubed flesh. The same can be said for removing a good volume of the juice from the melon. To defrost the melon, place the freezer bag in a colander over a pan for a few hours or overnight. You could use a cocktail stick and make 20 or so holes in the bottom of the bag to aid in the release of the liquid.
Okay we are good to get Jammin’
800g melon (400g once liquid removed)
300g apple pulp
150ml lemon juice
In a large pan empty three 480g packs of frozen raspberries. Heat through until liquid and simmering. Take a sieve and dredge through a number of times. Use a spoon to force the pulp through the sieve and discard about 50% of the pips. If you don’t do this you will end up with a very seedy jam. Okay, so you now have a less seedy raspberry juice. If you wanted, you could completely deseed through a sieve at this point. Personally I prefer a little bite in my rasmelonberry jam. The volume of seeds coupled with the evaporation of some of that juice should leave you with around a kilogram of raspberry juice. Now is the time to add your melon. Squeeze the freezer bag to release any remaining, surplus liquid. This melon juice you could reserve for making cocktails, freeze for use at a later date or just throw away. Give a final chop of the melon flesh and add to your berry juice. Cook a further 10 minutes on a low simmer. Now add a good few squirts of lemon juice and your apple pulp, then finally the sugar.
Remember, you don’t want to cook your jam for any more than 20 minutes. With the sugar dissolved, your liquor should look smooth and velvety. A small tip for you now! Before the sugar is added, check that your fruit pulp isn’t too watery. If it is, cook the pulp a further 5 – 10 minuets to reduce the liquid. Once you have added the sugar, you are only allowed up to 20 minutes cooking time. Stir every few minutes in order to release any pulp that has settled on the base of the pan. Remember, only ever use a wooden spoon in the boiling liquid.
You could skim throughout the 20 minutes rolling boil, but I have found that it is easier to do this towards the end of the cooking time. I do not use the old fashioned way of checking the gel by dropping a drop or two on a plate you have placed in the freezer and check if it has set. But if you use that wooden spoon and look at the consistency as it falls from the spoon. It should hold together in loose clumps.
Of course it goes without saying that you have already sterilised your jam jars, lids, jam funnel and ladle. Pot up your jars leaving 8mm at the top of the jar and close the lids tightly. This volume of ingredients should yield around 6 or 7 320ml jars. Place jars in a steamer and sterilise once more for 20 minutes. Cool down and label. It’s good to note the fruit and the date!
A good home made jam can last up to 2 years. But I think that you will agree that Dadda’s Jam is far too scrummy to be just left on a shelf! Enjoy wisely – a little of everything in proportion is just fine.
I am still abstaining from carbohydrates. So sadly no jam on my toast at the moment. In fact no toast either come to think of it. Though tomorrow both John and I are taking the day off from our pre – agrarian diet just for tomorrow, Johns birthday.