Don’t Let Those Autumn Fruits Go To Waste - Jam Making hints & tips

Making preserves is so much easier than you think and there is nothing like the taste of homemade jam on delicious thick cut toast, so make use of this years autumn fruit…

We have a great 'bundle' offer on our Jam making kit and free here

Some useful jam making tips and a recipes from Gemma (in our Cobham Shop)

Starting point.

Finding the perfect pan. Not a lot of equipment is needed for Jam making but a good preserving pan does make all the difference. Kitchen craft Maslin pan (SP39135) is great to use as it has a heavy base and is made from high quality stainless steel. It has measurements up the inside which are extremely helpful when adding ingredients to the jam. It also has a pouring lip although I prefer to use a soup ladle and jam funnel when pouring my jam into jars.

A little Tip: Never fill your preserve pan more than half way as it will bubble as it evaporates.

 Setting point.

There are several different ways to test jam but I find the foolproof method is to test with a Thermometer. To test, stir the mixture in the pan.  Dip the thermometer into hot water before dipping it into the pan.  If the temperature reaches 105ºC/220ºF, setting point should have been reached and your jam should set.

We stock several thermometers perfect for testing your jam my personal favourite is the Kitchen craft stainless steel thermometer  which measures from 60°C to 220°C. This is easy to use as it has an arrow marked jam at the perfect setting point clear to see.

Another great product we sell which is very handy this time of year when we have huge amounts of fruit is a straining bag  which is re-useable machine washable. Ideal for using when making jams, jellies and straining cheese.

Tip for Storage - Jams and Chutneys like to be kept in cool, dark and dry conditions and  should keep for up to one year. So are perfect to make now for Christmas presents later in the year. Once they opened,  they should be consumed within a few weeks and kept in the fridge.

Blackberries and apples are still adundant so here is a great jam to start with.

Blackberry and Apple Jam.


- 875g bramley apples

- 450g blackberries

- 1 kg caster sugar 

Makes 1350 g

 Total time required 1 hr 10 mins

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr

Other time: cooling


Peel, core and slice the apples and place in a very large wide saucepan; a preserving pan ideally.

Place the apple peelings and cores in the muslin, tie to secure and add to the pan along with half a cup of cold water. Cook gently, stirring from time to time, until the apples are softened.

Meanwhile, cook the blackberries with half a cup of water in a separate pan, until soft and pulpy.

Remove from the heat. Strain the blackberries through a sieve pressing down with a wooden spoon to push as much of the fruit through as possible.

When you are left with a mush of pips, scrape the underside of the sieve to remove the last bits of the puree and add this along with the contents of the bowl to the softened apples along with the sugar.

Stir until the sugar has dissolved and increase the heat and bring to the boil.

Place the clean jam jars (without lids) in the oven and turn the temperature to 100C/Gas ¼ .

If using a thermometer, secure it to the edge of the pan and continue to boil until the temperature reaches 104C, stirring occasionally to ensure the bottom isn’t burning.

Alternatively boil the mixture for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mixture looks thick and syrupy, remove from the heat. Take one of the saucers from the freezer and spoon on a drop of the jam.

Leave for a minute or so then push gently with your finger, if the surface wrinkles you have reached setting point. If it doesn’t wrinkle return the pan to the boil and cook for a further 5 minutes before testing again.

Once setting point has been reached remove the pan from the heat. Take the jars from the oven and spoon or pour the hot jam into them. Wipe any drips around the neck of the jar with a clean damp cloth.

Cover with waxed discs and seal with cellophane lids. Leave to cool then label. Store in a cool, dark place. Once opened keep in the fridge.




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