For the price, I really was not expecting much but thought that even if I just used a few of the 200 recipes then it would work out at great value, but this book has vastly exceeded by expectations.
The book starts by covering all the basics of jam making along with the equipment needed. It advises you what to look out for or what to avoid when purchasing the equipment. The author then goes on to answer all the usual questions such as how to stop the jam from going mouldy or how to make sure that it has set correctly. She even explains the difference between Jam, Conserves, Chutneys, Curds etc which is really helpful.
One tip that my nan told me to save money is to purchase the value / basics jam or lemon curd from the supermarket and use the jars for your homemade jam. These are usually about 40p and much less than the proper Kilner jars you can purchase. I usually throw the cheap "jam" away or to make jam tarts or roly-poly pudding. I then remove the labels, sterilise the jars and then they are ready for my own creations!!!
The recipes in the book are very simple to follow and include many tips and variations of the ingredients you can use. I love the mix of traditional recipes such as Strawberry Jam, Lemon Curd etc and much more adventurous ideas such as Banana and Chocolate Jam, Lime and Passionfruit Curd or even Cranberry Mincemeat with Port.
There is also a non cooking Jam recipe which I havent tried yet but it seems easy to make and ideal for young children to make with their parents as it doesnt involve boiling hot sugar.
Love this book and its ideal for beginners! 5 stars!
I have a lot of these little Hamlyn books and find them so useful. This one is no exception and is brilliant both for those who are new to jam-making and to more experienced jam-makers looking for ideas.
There is a really good introduction with good explanations of the process, the necessary equipment, and so forth, and provides information for when things go wrong. Then follow the recipes which are divided into chapters as follows:
* Jams & conserves e.g. blueberry & honey, pineapple & passion fruit, mango & passion fruit, cherry & raspberry, chestnut jam with whiskey, peach & vanilla, banana & chocolate
* Fruit butters, curds & cheeses e.g. pear & strawberry butter, spiced apple butter, apple & ginger curd, lime & passion fruit curd
* Jellies - including plum & crushed peppercorn jelly, bitter lime & pernod jelly, minted blackberry & apple jelly
* Marmalades e.g. apple & orange, lemon & quince, pineapple
* Festive fruit preserves - various mincemeats, ginger marmalade, apricot & cointreau curd.
Recipes include preparation and cooking times and there is an enticing picture on the facing page. As is usual with these books, there is a variation on the recipe at the end, for example the alternative to lemon & quince marmalade is lemon & pear.
The only downside of this series of books is the tiny format. I haven't yet found a book rack which can hold the books open which invariable means trying to keep them open with a couple of jars or cans thereby partially obscuring the recipes!