In a bit of a jam... two delicious recipes from chef Imelda Tynan

Imelda Tynan's Blackcurrant jam and Gooseberry & Elderflower jam.

Imelda Tynan's Blackcurrant jam and Gooseberry & Elderflower jam.

What nicer to serve with homemade scones and sponges than homemade Jam and this is an ideal time with so much fruit and berries in the garden.

There are only a few months in the year when we have so much wonderful tasting fruits and the most enjoyable and relaxing thing to do is to make jams and preserves.

Homemade Gooseberry Jam with Elderflower has an amazing flavour and is one you will never buy on a shop shelf.

Blackcurrant Jam is a real treat because of the small gluts of blackcurrants that are available we only ever manage to get 3 or 4 pots at a time.

Something to remember when you are making Jam: to test a set always spoon a little of your jam onto a cold sauce and place in the fridge to cool and when cooled you check the set by pushing the mixture with your finger, if it wrinkles you have a set if not return to the heat for a further 5 minutes and check again.

Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam

2lb Gooseberries

5fl oz. Water

2lb Sugar

5tbsp Elderflower Cordial

Butter for greasing

Heat the oven to 150⁰. Take a large heavy saucepan and grease with butter, this helps to prevent the jam sticking to the base of the saucepan.

Top and tail the gooseberries and add to the saucepan with the water, bring up to a simmering point and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the fruit is soft, do this on a low heat to avoid the fruit getting tough.

While the fruit is simmering, put the sugar into an ovenproof dish and place in the oven for about 5 minutes to warm.

Remove the saucepan with the fruit from the heat and now add the warmed sugar to the fruit and stir well, return to the heat and keeping the heat low allow the sugar to dissolve completely, this takes about 15 minutes stirring all the time.

At this final stage turn up the heat and let the jam boil rapidly for about 8 to 10 minutes, remove from the heat and test for a set i.e. spoon of jam onto a cool saucer and place in the fridge.

If the jam has not set boil for 5 minutes more and repeat the set test. When set remove from the heat and add in the elderflower cordial stirring well and allow to cool before filling into warmed sterilized jars.

An essential tool for jam making is a Jam Thermometer.

Blackcurrant Jam

2lb Blackcurrants

1pint Water

2lb Sugar

Butter for greasing

Remove the currants from the stalks and add to the saucepan (greased with butter to prevent sticking) with the water bring to the boil, then simmer until the fruit is soft.

Be careful not to cook the fruit too quickly or the skins with toughen.

The fruit will begin to reduce, remove from the heat and add the warmed sugar (as per recipe for gooseberry and elderflower jam) return to the heat and allow the sugar to dissolve completely.

Turn up the heat to a rapid boil until the jam is set. Remove from the heat and fill into warm sterilized jars.




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