Sunday, 5 July 2009

Back on the horse

I love summer. Okay, it doesn't have the crisp bright mornings of autumn, or the cosy evenings of winter, or the fresh new smells of spring. But it does have sunshine (no really, this year England seems to have remembered what summer is all about and conjoured up some proper hot sunshine!) and with that sunshine comes flowers, and after flowers, fruit!

Although the berries in our garden don't seem to be thriving (I'm not sure why, I clearly need to do some more reading up on the matter) the farmer's market has been packed with bright jewels

I can't tell you how excited I was when I spotted the above. Loganberries! I'd never actually seen a loganberry in real life until this morning, I'd only seen photos and eaten them in jam. My favourite jam ever in fact. Loganberries are like raspberries, but larger, sharper and richer, they make the most divine jam, and I wanted me some of that.

I know, just last week I was complaining at how much jam I had to make and how ridiculous a project preserving is in such hot weather. Well, today I got right back on the horse. I had to, these red babies just called out to be potted for later in the year. The loganberry season is notoriously short and by the time we'd dragged ourselves out of bed and to the farmer's market there were only two punnets left. I pounced on them and couldn't give the man the cash fast enough!

I wasn't sure at that point what I was going to do with them, I just knew they had to be mine. I pondered a fool, or tarts topped with them, or even a compote. But having removed all the stalks I weighed the results and had almost a pound, just enough to produce two little jars of jam.

So now, I can put these pots of goodness away until the winter, and then indulge and be smug that I finally managed to snatch some up for my very own in the summer.

See, no matter how hot or hard the days, I can't be kept out of the kitchen! And don't worry, I have a lovely plan for those gooseberries, which will be coming soon.

Loganberry Jam: Makes 1 2/3 lbs.

450g loganberries (after the stalks have been removed and the berries washed and patted dry)
450g sugar
squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Place the berries in a large pan with the squeeze of lemon juice (this is not for set, as loganberries set really well, I use it for a hint of extra tartness and stop the jam being too sweet), cook over a low heat until the juices are released and the berries become tender. Add the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved. Then raise the heat and boil rapidly until set (this will probably occur very quickly). Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.

The jam should keep for a year, but refridgerate after opening.


Lynne said...

Looks really wonderful - jewel colour ! I don't think I've seen a loganberry since we left the south, although I remember picking them at a farm in Essex once. So much more flavour than raspberries. I'm quite jealous!

green ink said...

I love loganberries - they have the most exquisite flavour, much better than raspberries, I agree! I especially love loganberry jam on pancakes, with vanilla icecream!!

Rebecca said...

Ooh, I hadn't thought of putting the jam on vanilla ice cream, that sounds amazing.

Sarah, The New Girl said...

You have bottled summer! :) Your pictures are always so lovely. Makes me want some of those berries!!! I agree with those comments-- try the jam on ice cream!!

Nicole said...

I must admit, I had no idea that is what loganberries looked like. Reminds me of the first time I saw Mulberries, all those years of singing round and round the Mulberry Bush as a kid and I had no idea what they are. They look very similar.

Your post has me humming Greg Brown's song Canned Goods...

Let those December winds bellow 'n' blow I'm as warm as a July tomato. [chorus:] Peaches on the shelf Potatoes in the bin Supper's ready, everybody come on in Taste a little of the summer, Taste a little of the summer, You can taste a little of the summer my grandma's put it all in jars.

Ok, you aren't a grandma, but I bet you will still love your jam in December. I can't wait to get started with my canning here.

Edd said...

Never had loganberry before sounds nice - might you be selling it at the stall next week, im coming down for the weekend and am going to pop by

Rebecca said...

Hi Edd,

You should hunt out some loganberry jam is you like rich berry flavours, it's too good to be missed.

And yep, I'm on the stall tomorrow (9th) and next week too (16th). This week I even finished preparing before midnight, which proves these things get easier.