Smooth Gooseberry Jam

July 4, 2012

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Papa Peacock’s allotment provided us with a super huge bag of gorgeous big juicy gooseberries at the weekend. So I got out the jam pan (I don’t have a jam pan, I use my stock pot!).
My girls are incredibly picky and refuse any jam with ‘bits’ in it, and as these gooseberries had a few big black seeds in them I decided to go through all the faff of removing them from the mix before getting the jam anywhere near the breakfast table! I have been known to heat up bitsy jam and pop it through a sieve to make it kid friendly!
I prepared 1kg of gooseberries, snipping the top and tail off them with a pair of scissors, then I washed and steamed them in the microwave, (they took 10mins on full power in my 800w). Then I blitzed the fruit with my hand blender, and pushed the pulp through a sieve to get a smooth purée, no skin or seeds. I put this into my stock pot/jam pan and added 1kg of granulated sugar. Brought it all up to a bubbly boil and kept it there for 10 mins. Then when a bit cooler I popped it into sterilised jars.
It’s pretty yummy, and even though the pulp was a snotty green colour, the jam is a lovely peachy, orange colour. And my girls are eating it!

I always seem to have past their best bananas in the house, they seem to be green and crunchy for ages then suddenly as soon as your back is turned they go black! So I am always on the look out for banana recipes to use them up in. I am also getting a bit bored of our breakfast rut, Martha will only eat toast at the moment either with homemade strawberry jam (I made another batch a few weeks ago -see previous post) or peanut butter. Alice is still pretty much happy with anything as long as it happens quickly in the morning, so she usually gets what Martha wants.  I hoped that this reciepe would provide us with a quick breakfast alternative and help to reduce the pile of black bananas currently turning all the fruit in the fruit bowl (yes I know I shouldn’t keep my banana in there!)

The recipe is a tweaked hummingbird bakery one, I use 200g of plain flour and 150g of wholegrain spelt (this is to add some fibre to the breakfast procedings) 3/4 tsp salt, 1and 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarb, 2 tsp ground cinnamon and 160g caster sugar. Pop all this into a bowl and apply the hand mixer until its all the same colour. Then in a seperate mixing jug measure out 375ml of whole milk and add an egg and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, whizz this up a bit too then add it to the dry mix. Melt 70g of butter in the microwave (I use the dirty measuring jug for this!) and add to the mixture and then add 400g (roughly 4 medium sizede bananas) mashed up with a fork. whiz it all up till its an even consistency and then fill your muffin cases 3/4 full with the mixture. I usually end up with 18 or 20 muffins but they are not monster huge ones, you could fill them higher and get starbucks sized ones if you like. Mix 2 tsps of sugar with a pinch on cinnamon and sprinke on the top before popping them into a pre-heated over at 170 degrees C. They should cook in 20-30 mins but my antique oven takes more like 45, they are cooked when they spring back when you press on the tops. If in doubt sacrifice one by opening it up and seeing if its still mush in the middle – this is usually my taster one anyway.

They are quite tasty, but unfortunatly have not been the breakfast changer I was hoping for as Martha decided that she didn’t like them on seeing them appear from the oven, so is still sticking with toast! Now if I could only remember to bake a loaf for the morning in the breadmaker…