All the shades of red, in bright berries bursting with the scent of ripe juices.
Rain threatened this morning. A wild south-westerly gusted relentlessly across the fields. I picked the ripest garden berries, before rainfall could ruin them and mould could follow.
By this evening, four jars of jam were cooled and setting in the kitchen. A mixture of raspberries, redcurrants, tayberries, blackberries and strawberries, caught in a sharp-tanged sweetness and full of the taste of summer.
I made the jam using a quick and easy method, from a recipe passed on by my friend on http://codlinsandcream2.blogspot.com. Thank you Bovey Belle!
Mine is a variation of her Microwave Raspberry Jam. I use it for all sorts of mixtures, including blackberry and elderberry combinations later in the summer.
Microwave Summer Fruit Jam
1lb of mixed summer fruit
1lb granulated or preserving sugar
Rinse fruit and tip into a 3 litre microwaveable mixing bowl.
Crush/ mash the fruit using a potato masher.
Add the sugar to the fruit.
Stir well, cover and leave for one hour.
Uncover, stir and then cook on High setting in Microwave for 5 minutes.
Stir with wooden spoon and then cook on Medium setting for approx. 25 minutes, until
setting point reached. Stir three times during cooking.
I use a cold plate in the fridge to test jam drops for surface wrinkling, but a jam thermometer can be used.
Allow to cool slightly before carefully potting up into clean, pre-warmed jars. Add sterilised lids but do not screw these up tightly until jam is completely cooled.
Label and date jars before storing.
Today I used twice the quantity of fruit and sugar, which took longer to reach boiling point, so I used the High microwave setting throughout.