Throughout history mankind has had a sweet tooth and has pondered the best method of ekeing out the glut of summer fruit to use during the lean months. Jam was just one of many ideas, but it is a successful one.
However, today I won’t talk about history. Today I will give you a fully illustrated recipe showing the type of jam you make when you aren’t quite sure what else to do with the ingredients
A picture heavy post so I will cut, but first meet the marrow:
This is what happens if you don’t pick courgettes/zucchini for a few days. I put the mug in for scale.
Read on for my patent Marrow and Ginger Jam.
This is my kitchen table, btw. It IS clean, it’s just done hard service over the years. There are chisel gouges and marks where a soldering iron rolled on it and cast iron skillets got put on it. This week it has been painted on and had papeier mache made on it. I can’t describe how comforting it is to be able to really USE a piece of furniture without having to worry about scratching the gloss!
Check for dog hair at various points in the recipe. This may not be necessary if you’ve been sensible enough not to get a huge hairy hound whose undercoat is floaty.
So on to the recipe:
1.8kg [4lbs] marrow [peeled, seeded and cubed]
1.8 kg jam sugar
4oz root ginger [peeled and grated]
Cut the marrow into handleable pieces and remove the pith and seeds from the middle.
Peel the skin from the marrow and put the pith and peel out for composting. Cube the pieces of marrow into sugar lump sizes.
Zest and juice the lemons, retaining the skins and pips.
Peel the ginger and grate it finely.
Put the cubed marrow into a heavy bottomed pan with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and heat it gently, stirring every so often.
Once the cubes of marrow have gone translucent it’s time for the next step. If they have made a lot of juice increase the heat to reduce it as much as possible. Add the ginger, lemon juice and zest, and the sugar. I put in the lemon shells as well. They and the pips are supposed to be added in a little muslin bag but I haven’t got one so I’ll fish them out before putting in jars.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved then put on a low heat and check frequently so it doesn’t burn. It will thicken slowly and once it has gone from seething to ‘glooping’ test the setting consistency.
Use a cold dry saucer or plate and drip a tea spoon of the hot jam mixture onto it. Wait for it to cool then push it with the spoon [or your finger if you’re sure it’s cool enough. Sugar burns take ages to heal]. If the surface of the jam drip wrinkles ahead of the finger it’s ready for setting.
You should have sterilised jam jars to hand [wash with hot soapy water, then fill with boiling water until ready for use, or, much easier if you have one to hand, stick ’em, and their lids, in a dishwasher]. I use clean pasta sauce jars too. I use a clean measuring jug to fill them with the hot jam. Cover with a bit of waxed paper and cling film then put on the metal lids or seal with a double thickness of cling film.
Label and store somewhere dark.
Marrow has no paticular flavour of it’s own so needs the ginger and lemon to give it some ooomph. Leave it for a week or two before opening to give the ginger flavour a chance to develop.