Monday, 21 July 2014
A few months ago I was asked by Borough Market to write a guest post for their site. They just managed to slip two recipes past before I wound up any bits of work outside the blog. I met my last deadlines a few days ago and it feels wonderful. Now I can focus on preparing Poires for the year to come, saying goodbye to Oxford and having a bit of a holiday.
I've been sitting on this recipe for a few years, partly because I made so much of it in 2012 that I've only just finished the last jar. It's my favourite jam. It's vibrant, slightly tangy and generally gorgeous, especially as part of a cream tea.
You can read the post and find the jam recipe here.
Update 17/01/17: the website seems to be no longer working - in case you want the recipe, I've pasted it below (along with the Victoria Sponge recipe below the photo):
Raspberry Redcurrant Jam
1 kg raspberries
1 kg white granulated or caster sugar
Collect your equipment before you start. You'll need a big saucepan or jam pan, about 5-8 jam jars depending on size, matching lids and a ladle (and preferably a jam funnel, as it makes life so much easier). Place a saucer in the freezer to test the set with. Sterilise your jars and lids - I put mine through a dishwasher cycle just before I start. Pop the jars and lids onto a tray (to make them easier to move) and place the tray in an oven set at 100C/210F.
Wash the redcurrants, picking through to find any berries that are going off but leaving the stalks. Place a sieve over a mixing bowl. Squash the redcurrants through the sieve in batches, pressing them against the edge of the sieve with a spoon until you just have a seed/skin/stalk paste. You should have 275-300g of redcurrant puree.
Pour the puree into the big pan, followed by the raspberries and sugar. Place over a low heat and stir – crushing some of the raspberries against the side with your spoon - until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Turn the heat up to full and bring to the boil. Once it has started to boil and foam up, let it continue for 3-4 minutes, then start testing for the set. To test, dribble a few drops of the jam onto the saucer in the freezer, then leave it in the freezer for roughly 30 seconds to a minute. Push your finger through the jam – if it wrinkles in front of your finger, it’s ready. It usually takes a few tests for it to be ready (with it boiling in the gaps as each test cools). When you’re happy, turn the heat off.
Skim any remaining foam off the jam then let it sit for 15 minutes (this means that the seeds will be evenly distributed when it sets). While it cools, the top of the jam often just starts to set, causing a massive version of the wrinkle test if you stir it. Take the jars out of the oven a few minutes before the jam has finished sitting and have them ready next to the pan.
Ladle the jam carefully – remembering that it is still exceedingly hot - into the jars (using, if possible, a jam funnel). When done, carefully screw the lids on, holding the hot jar firmly with a tea towel. When you’re sure the lid is on tightly, cover with the tea towel and give the jar a quick, small upwards shake so that the jam coats the sides and lid at the top with a seal of jam. Leave to cool on a tray, enjoying the delightful popping noise as the lids contract over the next few hours.
As long as your jars are well sterilised and sealed, jam keeps for years. I’ve just finished the last jar of this jam from my 2012 batch and it was still lovely.
(Makes 5-8 jars, depending on size)
I also wrote up my recipe for Victoria Sponge - the jam works brilliantly with whipped cream as the filling (for many of the same reasons that it's perfect for a cream tea). The combination of just-cooled sponge with a crisp sugar-sprinkled top and the jam and cream is sublime. If you need to keep the cake for longer, I suggest serving the cream on the side (whipping it when you need it).
Edit: As above, link no longer working, recipe now below:
For the cake:
170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
170g caster sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
170g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk
For the filling:
raspberry redcurrant jam to fill (or another jam)
125ml double cream
a sprinkle of caster sugar to top
Preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Grease and line the bottom of two 7"/18cm round loose-bottomed sandwich tins with baking parchment.
Place the room temperature butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl if using a handheld electric whisk) and beat for a minute or two until smooth, pale and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for at least 5 minutes on medium-high, scraping down occasionally - the mixture should be fluffy and thick. Whisk the eggs together in a jug to break them up. Sieve the flour and baking powder together into another bowl.
Add the egg to the creamed mixture in small splashes, beating on medium-high as you go and making sure each addition is incorporated before adding more. After adding about a third of the egg, add a teaspoon of flour from the bowl and scrape down the sides. Occasionally add another few teaspoons towards the end (this helps stop the mixture curdling, which will give you a flatter cake).
When you've added all the egg, sift in the rest of the flour and fold in with a big spoon. When the mixture starts to come together, add the milk and fold until uniform. The mixture should be dropping consistency - if you get a big spoon of it and turn it sideways over the bowl, it should fall off the spoon.
Split the mixture between the two tins (each one should be roughly 340-350g). Spread out into an even layer. Transfer to the oven and bake on the middle shelf - don't be tempted to look until at least 15 minutes has passed. It should be ready after 18-20 minutes and be golden brown, springy to the touch, coming away from the sides and a cake tester/toothpick should be able to be removed cleanly from the middle. Place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edge of the tins and carefully remove from the tins to the rack. Leave to cool fully.
Place one of the cooled cakes onto a serving plate then spread liberally with jam. Whip the double cream until it thickens and just starts holding shape – it’s important to not over whip it. Spread the cream over the jam. Top with the other cake and sprinkle with a bit of caster sugar. Keeps in an airtight tin for a few days if you just fill with jam, best immediately if you use cream (but you can keep the rest in the fridge for a day or so).
Other posts where I've used/mentioned this jam:
Raspberry Redcurrant Jam Swiss Roll
Cinnamon Cardamon Kringel Bread