Each year I attempt to make some edible treats for gifts. Last year was the year for mulled wine kits and homemade giant scotch eggs. This year, something a little more simple and perfect to make in batches. Make a big stash of Christmas jam and you're all set to spread some festive jammy cheer to everyone you know!
Cranberries, berries, orange, cinnamon and cloves make this a real winter warmer. If you prefer something sharper, make the lot with just cranberries, or for those with a sweet tooth, half and half with mixed berries like raspberries.
You don't need a giant maslin (jam) pan but it does come in very handy for making big batches like this one. My pan is a 9 litre one from Domu, which should make up to a dozen jars of jam. Or, 9 litres of mulled wine!
S P I C E D C H R I S T M A S J A M
(Makes 6 regular sized jars, double up or halve as necessary)
1 cinnamon stick
a few whole cloves
450g cooking apples like bramleys, peeled, cored and cubed
zest of 1 large orange or 3 clementines
200ml fresh orange juice
450g fresh cranberries
450g mixed frozen berries
1kg jam sugar
- Tie the cinnamon and cloves in a square of muslin cloth. Add the apples, orange zest and juice into a large maslin pan and cook on a medium heat until the apples are soft, approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the berries and continue to cook gently for around 5-10 minutes, checking the cranberries retain their shape.
- Pour in all of the sugar and turn the heat up. Continuously stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Place a sugar thermometer in the pan and leave on a rapid boil for 10 minutes.
- At around 110 degrees the jam should be at setting point. To check, take a small spoon of jam on a chilled plate, leave to cool for a few minutes before pushing your finger through the jam. If the jam wrinkles then its ready. If its too runny then put back on a rapid boil for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and take out the muslin bag. Leave to cool for a further 10 minutes and remove any scum from the top of the jam with a slotted spoon.
- Warm some clean jam jars up either in the oven or with a swill of boiling water. Pour in the jam and seal with a lid. Leave to cool fully before labelling.
Thanks to Domu for sending me a shiny new maslin pan for this post, next stop...mulled wine!