There's something very therapeutic about picking your own fruit.
I'd been meaning to visit a pick-your-own farm for years, and last week the weather was perfect for it, so off I went to the Garsons in Esher. I remember picking fruit as a child in our backyard, my mom had planted a great mixture: strawberries, grapes, oranges, grapefruits, guavas, mangoes and bananas. We had something to pick all year round.
This recipe is one of my grandmother's, except I added the lavender. I remember this was always on the breakfast table and it was my favourite: the sweetness of the raspberries with the tartness of the redcurrants makes for a perfect balance after the sugar is added. The lavender just adds an extra je ne sais quoi that keeps people guessing.
Recipe after the jump!
I remember helping my grandmother pick the fruit for this recipe. We would spend all afternoon in her garden munching and picking, munching and picking, laughing, playing hide-and-seek, rolling around in the grass - some serious happy childhood memories. Back in the kitchen, from memory, it seemed like it took her days to make this. When I made it, it took 45 minutes from fruit to jar.
Makes 4-5 jam jars.
1 small bundle (7-8 stalks) of edible lavender
1kg sugar with added pectin
1. Wash fruit and remove all stalks and leaves, place in a deep pot and bring to the boil, together with the lavender stirring regularly. Simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the juice has been extracted from the fruit.
2. Pour through a jelly bag and strain all the juice out into another deep pot. You should have roughly 1000g of juice.
3. Add the sugar and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Place a tablespoonful onto a cold plate and place near an open window to cool for a couple of minutes. When tapped gently, the jelly should have formed a skin that's sticks to your finger, this is how you know it is ready.
4. Pour into jam jars and close tightly as soon as possible. This allows a vacuum to form as the glasses cool.