Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wham Bam Thank You Jam and the Drunken Monkey
Over the last six months I’ve managed to amass around 20 different types of chutney, pickle and jam. They currently inhabit the entire top shelf of my fridge and I swear they are multiplying. I like to imagine them having a very vinegary and sugary party, every time I shut the door, though I doubt they have enough room to do any dancing.
I’ve managed to stop myself from buying anymore preserves now, but I just couldn’t help making some when I discovered a couple of very simple recipes. I assumed that jam making would be terribly tricky, but it turns out that the only thing you need lots of is patience. The final stage when it’s almost at setting point seems to last for an age, but it’s well worth the wait to stand back and see lots of neat little jam jars, filled with deliciousness.
The first batch, forever more called ‘Wham Bam, Thank You Jam’, is a tweaked version of a recipe from Delicious. It has a gorgeous chilli, lemongrass and ginger tang. I doubled the ingredients (if you’re going to the trouble of making jam, why on earth would you only want 3 jars at the end of it?), I didn’t bother deseeding the chillies (I like ridiculously hot food, as you may have guessed from my previous post, Hot Pot), and I used an extra couple of lemon grass sticks. It’s vital to use bloody good tomatoes for this recipe. They need plenty of flavour. If you’re uncertain, give them a sniff in the shop and if they don’t make you feel like you’re six years old again, helping your Granddad select the best fruit from the greenhouse, don’t bother.
The second batch, now known as ‘The Drunken Monkey’, mainly consists of banana, pineapple and dark rum. It came from The World Wide Gourmet. Again, I doubled the ingredients though and also added a little pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to make it extra warming. I’d recommend putting it on a hot pancake with some west country clotted cream.