I have this vision of myself as a wonderfully crafty Pinterest queen, able to fashion outfits out of curtains, planters out of vintage tins and with a pantry bursting at the seams with wonderful preserves, pickles and jams – made from homegrown fruit and vegetables of course. Sadly, reality falls very far from this vision. I have practically zero skills in the craft department and although I am not completely inept when it comes to preserving, it is one of those things that I usually put on my to-do list then never find the time for.
Well no more. I now have no excuse to fulfil at least part of my crafty fantasy, thanks to the Ball Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker. This ingenious device is so easy to use that you can literally go from fruit to jam in about 30 minutes. The prep work involves rinsing, cutting and crushing the fruit. You then add pectin – a natural gelling ingredient derived from fruit – to the Jam & Jelly maker, followed by the fruit, a little lemon juice and tiny bit of butter and turn the machine on. The cooking starts immediately, then 4 minutes later there’s a beep to indicate when to add the sugar. Once the sugar is added, the cooking only takes 21 minutes, with all the stirring taken care of. No more burned jam and ruined pots for me, thank you very much.
Makes 4x 240ml (8fl oz) jars
2. Wash the berries. Hull and quarter the strawberries then measure the right quantity into a bowl with the raspberries. Crush with a potato masher as before.
Note: To make a rhubarb and strawberry jam following the same method above, use 475g (16oz) finely chopped rhubarb and 350g (12oz) crushed strawberries and increase the pectin to 4 tbsp.