The Letter J is for Jam

I love unsweetened, natural yoghurt laced with deep-crimson streaks of my homemade forest berry jam. This isn’t the type of preserve that you spread on toast because this jam will run straight down your elbow. This is the type of preserve that you find glistening in the triangular corner of Muller Fruit Corners yoghurt. It’s typically Danish, and often set on the breakfast table with ymer or yoghurt.

Yoghurt with Homemade Jam

I use my ancient pot for making this jam because the berries stain everything, including your wooden spoon. Don’t’ use your favourite wooden spoon for stirring this because it will be forever and after purple.

Jam Cooking in an Old Pot

I use fresh berries during late summer when the hedgerows are heavy with free fruit, but for the rest of the year I use frozen berries from the supermarket. The frozen supermarket berries are a combination of raspberries, blackberries, tayberries, loganberries and blueberries. I often add a handful of fresh blueberries at the end so that there’s some whole pieces to sink your teeth into.

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This recipe makes enough to fill one 500ml jar, plus a bit extra to fill a custard dish for instant gratification. I also sterilise my jars in the oven, and add a bit of “Torsleffs Atamon” which is a Danish preservative.

Note that this is sugar-free because my husband cannot eat jam with sugar. The sweetener that I use is liquid, rather than granular, but certainly the latter is perfectly acceptable … as is sugar, of course.

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Hedgerow Berry Jam/Preserve

500g frozen Mixed Red/Blue/Purple Berries
1 small nob unsalted butter
Juice of one large lemon, plus water to make 100ml (or just enough to peek through the berries – but not covering)
50-60ml Certo liquid or 10-15g unsweetened pectin powder
1 teaspoon liquid sweetener (or sugar to taste)
1 teaspoon Atamon preservative

Add together in a pot the berries, water/lemon juice, and slowly bring to a simmer until they’re thawed (if frozen). Stir as little as possible. Move the pot by hand to swish the liquid through the berries. Bring slowly up to a boil, skimming foam as it appears. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Now add the nob of butter, which reduces the foaming while it simmers. At this point, place a small plate in the freezer so it will be good and cold for testing the gelatinous stage of the jam later on.

Add the sweetener, stir carefully so the fruit isn’t broken up to much, and then taste. It shouldn’t be overly sweet. It’s best tart to counter the creaminess of the yoghurt. Add the pectin, stir thoroughly, simmer 1 minute. Test the jam on the plate cooling in the freezer. Drop a glob of jam on the plate, wait a bit, and then run your finger through it. It should be firm-ish and a slight wrinkly skin should form. If it does, add the Atamon, stir. Take the jar out of the oven and pour the jam into it. Seal and cool.

I keep our jam in the fridge … mostly because I’m short on cupboard space.


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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Joanna says:

    I think I would love your wonderfully fruity preserve, it sounds delicious, but I think most people would gasp at the idea of jam with so little added sweetener. I might pop back to the danish food site and pick up a bottle of that preservative though, I just threw out Brian’s picallilli from last September as it was looking a bit strange. We made far too much. Good idea to use frozen fruits too!

    I wanted to ask you if you had tried any of the Danish bread mixes on that site too and what you thought of them if you had.

  2. Misk Cooks says:

    I haven’t bought anything on that site yet. I’m just telling everyone I know about it, and they’re buying stuff. LOL! We did buy a dark rye bread mix from Ikea, and Peder made that one. He was very pleased with the result but I noticed that he didn’t eat it all. I finally turned it into toasted crumbs for sprinkling on yoghurt.

    I think you’re right that this jam isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s very fluid, which can be thickened up with more Certo, and tart (depending on the berries) but that too can be sweetened up with more sugar. I just happen to like a very tart, pure-tasting preserve, particularly with rich, creamy yoghurt.

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