Making jam

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 20 people

Good fruit, acid, pectin, sugar, a wide saucepan and a whole lot of stirring: here's the science behind the homeliest of culinary arts.

  • 5 each firm, slightly under-ripe peaches and nectarines (about 1.5kg), scored
  • 1 kg white sugar
  • 2 oranges and 1 lemon, rind and flesh finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water, or to taste
  • 50 ml peach or orange liqueur (optional)
01   Blanch peaches until skins split (30-40 seconds), refresh. Peel.
02   Combine sugar, oranges and lemon in a non-reactive bowl. Break peaches and nectarines into chunks over the bowl to catch juices, add to orange mixture. Stir, cover, refrigerate overnight.
03   Transfer peach mixture to a wide saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and stir frequently until mixtures forms a gel on the back of a wooden spoon and fruit breaks down (40-50 minutes). While jam is cooking, place a few saucers in the freezer.
04   To test setting point, remove jam from heat and spoon some onto a cold saucer. Return to freezer for 30 seconds, then push with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, cook another few minutes, test again. Add orange blossom water or liqueur if using and stir.
05   Ladle hot jam into warm sterilised jars and wipe clean with a hot, damp cloth. Remove any air bubbles by running a hot metal skewer down sides of jars. Place a round of waxed paper on top of jam, seal, and cool completely. Jam will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.

Note White and yellow peaches work equally well here. You'll need to begin this recipe one day ahead. This recipe makes about 1 litre.

Topics:

MODERN AUSTRALIAN, NECTARINES, AUTUMN, MASTERCLASS, PEACHES, LEMONS, ORANGES

Recipe:

EMMA KNOWLES

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

EMMA KNOWLES

FEATURED IN

Mar 2009

Mar 2009

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