14 Jan

Central Otago Vineyards

Executive Chef, Will Eaglesfield, shares a recipe for homemade fruit jam inspired by the bounty of fresh fruit he’s foraged during lockdown. Enjoy!

Do you or your neighbours have a fruit tree? Have you panic-bought too many apples? Then it’s time to get jamming! Personally I have a plum tree, an apple tree, and (suddenly) a lot of time to actually do something with all the fruit this year. And all through Summer and Autumn there’s always at least one kind of fruit which is at the peak of it’s season, and so at bargain prices. So have a go and fill your home with the sweet smell of simmering stonefruit!

General jam advice:
  • If you are using fruit fresh from the tree, make sure to have a fruit sorter (I use a handy daughter, as seen above) go through them looking for suspicious holes or rotten bits. These can be cut out without losing the whole fruit.
  • For any stonefruit, I recommend halving the fruit and removing the stones before cooking; food processor blades don’t like them.
  • Don’t be afraid to try adding some herbs or flavourings. Apricot and thyme, peach and lavender, and pear and cinnamon are all great combinations.
  • Be very careful pouring hot jam into the jars! At this point it’s basically a delicious napalm
  • 2 kg chopped Fruit (eg. strawberries, blueberries, blackberry)
  • 2 kg chopped apples (cores included)

Per kg fruit pulp:

  • 1 kg sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Place chopped fruit and apples in a big pot and add water to cover just the bottom half of the fruit
  • Bring to a boil then simmer until the apples and fruit are super tender, about 30 minutes
  • Blitz the cooked fruit with the stick blender or robotcoupe then pass through a coarse sieve
  • Weigh out the passed fruit pulp; for every kilo of pulp, add 1 kg sugar and the juice of 1 lemon
  • Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring often to avoid burning, until done
  • How do I know it’s done?
    1. Its temperature is around 100C
    2. When a little is dripped onto a chilled plate it starts to form a skin and set within a minute
  • Once done, remove from heat and run jars and lids through the dishwasher then heat in service oven for 5 minutes to sterilise. HANDLE CAREFULLY both jars and lids will be very hot!
  • Pour jam into jars while still hot and seal them immediately
  • Leave to cool until 60C, then transfer to chiller 2 hours later

Note: the following day, press down on the middle of the lid. If you feel any movement, the jar has not sealed properly and must be kept in the chiller. Otherwise they can be stored at room temperature. 

  • 2 pieces white bread
  • 2 pieces rye bread
  • 2 butter rounds
  • 2 portions Homemade jam

Toast bread, place butter and jams in ramakins and serve.