Now you'd think I'd have learned - the fact that I had a bag of cranberries in the freezer left over from last year which I turned into cranberry & orange sauce ready to accompany the Turkey on Tuesday, says something about the way I shop when I'm not concentrating and my head is turned. So what possessed me to virtually chuck a couple of bags of fresh cranberries into my virtual shopping trolley AFTER I'd made the aforesaid sauce is a mystery. But chuck I did, and rather than consign them to the freezer ready to be discovered next year, I decided that this year would be different.
Once again, Nigella has come to my rescue. She has a whole section devoted to cranberries in Feast, first up is Cranberry Jam.
Cranberries are full of pectin so it's a really easy jam to make - just an equal amount of cranberries to caster sugar. I had 600g of cranberries so I put a splash (literally, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) of water in a large pan, added the cranberries and 600g of sugar and stirred over a low heat till all the sugar was dissolved.
If you haven't sterilised your jars, do so first, and make sure you keep them warm, either in the oven or in a bowl of hot water - otherwise they may crack when you decant the hot jam into them.
It does take a bit of time, and you can tell when it's all dissolved when the syrup that's being produced around the berries looks clear rather than cloudy. If you scoop a little out on the spoon and feel it, the sugar is dissolved when you can't feel anything but sticky syrup.
Then you have to increase the heat and bubble up the contents of the pan till it reaches setting point. This is where I always get the fear with any sort of jam. I was feeling more confident because I know that cranberries set very easily, but even so. In the end, although I did bung in the sugar thermometer, I also set the timer for the 7 minutes the Goddess indicates. The jam hadn't quite reached temperature at the 7 minute point but it was looking pretty jam like and I was worried that it might start to burn.
The jam went straight into the jars, and there was enough left over to go on the brioche that I made yesterday, for breakfast. Happy times.
And if I get round to it, there will be a Cranberry Bakewell Tart on the menu for tomorrow's lunch. Watch this space!
I am, of course, linking up to Maison Cupcake's Forever Nigella event, hosted this month by Laura on her blog lauralovescakes . Enjoy!