Raspberry Chilli Jam

I don’t know why, but making jam gives me an immense sense of satisfaction. Seeing the ingredients come together, simmer down into that thick, delicious mixture, and then admiring those lovely rows of jewel-tone jars…I love it. And with fruit now coming in fast and furious, this is jam-making season.

I’ve been doing jams and preserves for a few years now, which means I’ve learned quite a few things, the most important being: most jam recipes are terrible. I don’t even use recipes anymore, I just go by instinct, what I know I and my husband like (not too much sugar), and flavours I know go together. And it’s working out pretty well for us.

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Downton Dish: Shortbread with Raspberry Jam

The gang’s heading to Scotland (which made perfect sense in an episode that ran as a Christmas special in the UK)! I could direct you to a traditional haggis, neeps, and tatties, but I’m pretty sure I’d lose about half my viewership if I did. Instead, let’s go back to dessert—delicious, delicious shortbread, all crumbly and buttery. Want to take it up a notch? Add a bit of jam. Soooo good. My decision to run shortbread here will probably make sense outright; the jam, well, that’ll probably make a bit more sense towards the end of the episode. It’ll almost certainly make more sense if you read my recap of it. For now, let’s just say that these two things go really well together and leave it at that.

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Marmalade in jars

Marmalade

‘Oh, dear, bought marmalade. I call that very feeble.’–The Countess of Trentham, Gosford Park Oddly, the bleak midwinter is the best time for citrus fruits. You think they’d be a summer crop, but apparently not. And for a brief window of time, knobby, super-sour Seville oranges start showing up, and you know it’s marmalade making time. My parents have the best story about marmalade, I … Continue reading Marmalade

Seven Spice Damson Plum Jam

It’s plum season here in the UK, and the little jewels are everywhere: Victoria, green gage, and the famous damsons. I hadn’t heard much about damsons before I came over here, but they’re big on this side of the pond, and very popular with jam makers. They’re considered too sour to eat alone (and they’re too small to serve as much of a snack anyway, … Continue reading Seven Spice Damson Plum Jam