Fridge jam

Fridge jam

By
From
River Cottage Every Day
Makes
2kg
Photographer
Simon Wheeler

I invented what I call ‘fridge jam’ as a sort of halfway house between a full-blown preserve and a fresh fruit sauce. With only two-thirds the sugar of a standard jam, it has a softer, looser set and a sharper flavour. It’s very versatile. You can still serve it on toast, of course, but at home we mostly have it for breakfast with pancakes or on yoghurt. It’s outstanding with rice pudding, too. Make it with strawberries, raspberries or gooseberries, or try my favourite morello cherry jam (see below).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg strawberries, raspberries or gooseberries
1 lemon, juiced
1kg jam sugar with pectin

Method

  1. Sterilise some jam jars or other suitable containers by washing them in hot, soapy water and drying in a very low oven (or put them through a dishwasher cycle).
  2. Divide the fruit in half, putting the smaller berries in one bowl, the larger ones in another (if the small ones are quite big, halve them). Roughly crush the large ones with a potato masher (or by hand), then add the uncrushed berries, lemon juice and sugar. Stir to combine, then leave for an hour to draw out the juices.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a preserving pan, or a wide, heavy-based pan that is deep enough for the jam to bubble away safely. Bring it quickly to a rolling boil, stirring a few times to make sure all the sugar dissolves, then boil hard for exactly 5 minutes, skimming off any foam from the surface. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes (this helps to keep the whole fruit suspended in the jam).
  4. Pot the hot jam in the warm jars or other vessels and seal tightly. Label jars when cool. Unopened and stored in a cool, dry place, the jam will keep in jars for up to a year. But once opened, store in the fridge and use within 3 weeks.

Variation

  • Morello cherry fridge jam

    Substitute 1.5kg morello cherries for the strawberries. I like to leave the stones in, as they lend a special flavour, but you may prefer to remove them using an olive/cherry stoner (tie the stones up in a square of muslin and add it to the jam while you boil it up).

    Put the cherries in a preserving pan with 100ml water (no lemon juice) and bring slowly to the boil, stirring often, until the juices run. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until the cherries are soft. Add 1kg preserving sugar (sour cherries have good levels of pectin, so there is no need for sugar with added pectin), stir until dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil hard for 5 minutes. Pot as above.
Tags:
River Cottage
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
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