Things are going well. Fingers crossed, we should get the DA for the Kamilla Johns Real Food production kitchen through next week, which is a big step towards our launch – and food being delivered your way. Poppy has worked out how to put her own shoes on (although it takes a little while) and the boys haven’t complained once this week about going to preschool…

So I thought I should talk about something sweet. This morning we finished the last of my homemade jam that I brewed up before Christmas.  I love jams and fruit spreads (a low or no added sugar option with a lower GI). Such a clean and pure way of extracting fruit flavour.

This whole jam making business started with wanting to make something different for Christmas presents last year – something that would transport well, last and taste of summer. I headed to the Sydney Markets for inspiration – the apricots were sweet, ripe and cheap (make sure you try before you buy) so I bought a 10kg very ripe box for $20.

Even after the kids had eaten as much as physically possible (Poppy singlehandedly ate about a kg of them) there were plenty left over to make at least 20 jars of apricot jam (recipe below) as well as to make some v tasty desserts including a sticky sweet apricot crumble.

The jam is deliciously rich, relatively easy to make and tastes completely of summer. It’s well worth trying to make – it’s amazing to get back to basics and make the most of ingredients when they are at their best.

I have had requests for more of my apricot jam and am thinking of going out to the markets next week to pick up some late season very ripe apricots or possibly plums to make some more while the summer fruit season has a bit of life left in it. Plums are fantastic right now so I’m thinking a plum and cinnamon jam (similar quantities to the apricot jam below should work well, just replace the cardamom and cloves with a stick or two of cinnamon).

Even if jam making isn’t your thing, check out the Sydney Markets near Homebush – try and get there by 6am. Let me know if you need some tips and tricks on how to navigate them. It’s an awesome experience if you get excited by fresh ingredients and a good way of stocking up on fresh nicola potatoes, amazing salad greens, fruit, micro herbs, fresh flowers and anything really you can think of in season. Bring cash. Only problem is that you just might start wondering if you need a bigger fridge or fridges…

KJ’s Summer Apricot Jam

For every 3kgs of apricots, I add 2 kg sugar, 1/2 cup of water, 4 cardamom pods, 6 apricot kernels (smash a few apricot pips with a meat mallet to extract the kernels) and 3 cloves (it was Christmas after all). Bring all the above to the boil and simmer for about an hour or until set and spoon into sterilized jam jars (see below).

I found getting the setting point of the jam just right was the biggest challenge but by the second batch I had it down (test the setting point by putting a spoon of jam on a frozen plate and putting it back in the freezer for a few minutes. If the jam wrinkles when pushed you are done). The jam does froth a little when simmering. Try to resist stirring too much or it will froth more! But you do need to watch that the jam doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan and so a little stirring is required. Skim off the froth when you think you are close to setting point.

If you need to buy jam jars, best to buy on bulk from a wholesale supplier such as Plasdene – you can purchase over the counter. Best if you split your purchase with a few people as Plasdene and others require a $100 minimum spend and that buys a lot of jars…

Our jam was delivered in a gift bag decorated in Christmas colours and designs by the kids. We also popped in the bag, the following list of ideas for using the jam.

– spread on sourdough (with good quality butter eg Lurpak or Lescure or ricotta) – I’m currently loving Infinity Bakery’s Plain or Wholemeal Spelt Sourdough loaves.

– eat with Cheese on a doorstop crumbly cheddar sandwich. Try an aged English cheddar.

– dollop on the side of a creamy rice pudding.

– add to a muffin (put one spoon of mix in the muffin tins, top with a teaspoon of jam, and then encase in another spoon of muffin mix) so that the muffins end up with a gooey jammy centre.

– add to a salad dressing (a tsp of jam will do) with some mild English mustard, lemon juice, good quality extra virgin olive oil, Maldon salt and pepper (oil:lemon juice ratio about 3:1). The salad dressing is yummy tossed through a poached chicken salad with avocado and salad greens.

– squirt into doughnuts.

– add to a marinade or glaze for roast chicken (whole chicken or pieces) – gives the chicken a lovely sweetness and stickiness and apricots and chicken are a classic match.

– as a glaze for a fruit tart e.g. apple, pear, peach, apricot, cherry etc. whatever’s in season.

– add as swirls in homemade ice creams or to yoghurt etc.

– as the star in jam drop biscuits or a jam slice.

– as a sauce for a tasty orange and cardamom pudding or cake.

– served with cream and scones.

There are lots of possibilities – any more ideas?

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Categories: Recipes

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3 Comments on “Jammy”

  1. 22/02/2012 at 9:29 am #

    Lovely post, kamilla! Now all you need are some fancy labels. Can’t wait to see what your food is like at the new venture. Jacqui (…how long has it been!)

    • 22/02/2012 at 2:13 pm #

      Thanks Jacqui – yep has been far too long! Would love any ideas or tips you have. I am learning and loving this. Hope all is good,
      Kamilla xxx

  2. elo
    22/02/2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Do you deliver overseas????? 🙂 !!!

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