Picking the fruit and making the jam for our guests at Market Cross Guest House.
Despite the beast from the east some soft fruits have been amazing this year. The strawberries really benefitted from the cold winter and the damp spring. This has given them an amazing flavour and colour. Sadly, the raspberries have not enjoyed this weather so much and are suffering. We hope they will pick up and we can still enjoy some later this month. Fresh is always best when making homemade jam.
So, this week Steve and I took a tip to Oxford Farm just south of Berwick. We have been picking strawberries and raspberries here for the last 5 years for serving at breakfast and for jam.
An hour of picking we came home with five kilos of lush, juicy strawberries. We also had sore backs but it’s always worth it.
After a quick wash, three kilos went into the jam pan with three kilos of caster sugar and the juice of two lemons. Forty minutes of boiling down and they are in jars waiting to cool. The next morning and the guests are enjoying fresh jam on their toast.
As you may have guessed we make all our jams and marmalades here at Market Cross. Why would we buy jam when we can make it so easily and without all the man made stuff. All we use are fruit and sugar with a bit of pectin if it refuses to set. Simple. It is also so satisfying to hear the guests enjoying them and we even sell some.
We will be going back in a few weeks to harvest the raspberries and more jam will be made. Not as much as the marathon Seville orange marmalade session in January, but enough.
Any we have spare (in this case two kilos) are for breakfast as well. It’s good to add fresh local fruit as an addition to all the other good things we put out for them.
If you’ve never made jam before it’s worth doing. You don’t need a big jam pan like ours and a little time and patience will get you a few jars. Give it a try and you won’t eat shop bought again.