Christmas gift idea

Everybody needs gifts to give the best teacher ever, or your hair dresser or the person who mows your lawn.   A small jar of jam is often just the right gift.  Most urban dwellers don’t grow their own fruit and vegetables but you can still make really nice jam from frozen fruit you buy from the supermarket for a special occasion.  You can buy frozen cranberries and these work very well in this jam.  If you can add some chopped strawberries it is even yummier.

About 3 cups of fruit, either frozen cranberries or cranberry/strawberry combination

6 cups peeled chopped apples

1 3/4 cups water

6 cups sugar

1/2 t allspice

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t ground cloves

Add all the ingredients to a large heavy based pot.  Slowly bring to the boil and cook until setting point is reached.  if you have a thermometer this will be about 105 degrees Celsius.  If you don’t have a thermometer, place a small quantity on a saucer and put it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.  If the surface wrinkles when you push it with your finger, the jam is ready.  If not, cook for a few minutes longer.

Spoon into small jars, leaving  a quarter of an inch headspace (below where the lid will come), clean the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel or a clean cloth, and screw on the lids.  Place the jars carefully into a water bath.  To set up a water bath you must put a rack or a folded tea towel into the bottom of the pot so that your jars don’t touch the bottom of the pot.  Cover the lidded jars with about an inch of water that is already very hot.  Bring this pot to the boil and once boiling time for 15 minutes (the water needs to boil for the whole time).  Even more carefully, remove the jars from the water and place on a folded towel or a wooden board on your bench.  Leave to cool for 24 hours.

Make a pretty label to tie on and gift away.  If you have room on your card, write some serving suggestions.

“Mix with vinaigrette dressing and pour over strawberry and spinach salad OR brush chicken breasts just before you grill them OR serve as an accompaniment to your turkey”

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