Autumn jam

posted by Jessica October 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm Jamming No comments , , , ,


There’s a storm brewing. It’s a good a reason as any to batten down the hatches, fish out your biggest saucepan and get jamming. From this Saturday you can put your best jar of strawberry jam, boozy jelly or a classic Plum and Mulled Wine preserve forward for the Denman Jam Festival that takes place at Denman College from 7-8 December.

Denman, a beautiful Georgian mansion based in rural Oxfordshire, is dubbed ‘the jewel in the WI crown’ and offers cosy en-suite rooms and a raft of adult education courses that run in the stately old rooms and all-new cookery school for which the house is famed. If jam-making’s your bag, you’ve come to the right place to glean top tips from the experts.

I boiled up my first batch of jam on a course here last year using gooseberries, plums and summer fruits which bubbled away, filling the kitchen with delicious aromas; by the end of the day I had 11 filled jars that were labelled, shelved and – over the course of a cold autumn –  slathered on toast for breakfast. I got to grips with my pectin levels, mastered the frozen saucer technique (nearly), and took good advice from fellow jammers who had travelled across Britain to improve their fruity vats.

For our series, we’ve been approached by some serious WI jammers and expert marmalade-makers that we can’t wait to visit, so watch this space! In the meantime you can find out how to enter the festival here.

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