Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}

These gluten-free Honey Apple Spice Scones are not very sweet, making them the perfect match for lashings of homemade jam.

Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}

These scones are hitting all the right notes for me at the moment and are what I have been craving all week before I had even tried the recipe out.

Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}

I woke up with a bang this morning knowing I wanted scones for breakfast. Yes, that’s what I had been missing all week and as soon as I realised that laying in bed at 6am they were the only thing that could possibly satisfy me. I tried eating a piece of toast only to give most of it to Cole when it just didn’t feel right. So after I bundled him off to nursery, I came back home, raided my larder and fridge for the right ingredients and 30 minutes later was enjoying the scone (ahem scones) that I had been craving.

Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}

Do note that these are not sweet scones despite the fact that there is both apples and honey in the title. I would normally put about 60g of sugar in my scones but I just didn’t want that for my breakfast today so instead substituted the sugar with honey which tones down the sweetness of the scone immeasurably. The burst of dessert apple in every mouthful also keeps the scones from feeling too savoury but really what you want here is to ladle your scones with the very best homemade jam. I ate mine slathered in last week’s Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam and the combination of spices and deep rich autumnal flavour was perfect.

Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}

After I had eaten my fill of jammy scones I then attacked them with a generous slather of salted butter which was also excellent as the gentle spices and apples were given the chance to shine. I made the scones smaller than I normally would and just made a small batch of 12. I doubt they’ll last the day once a hungry husband and toddler come home but that’s all for the best as scones are only really worthwhile on the day they are baked.

Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}

Print Recipe
Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}
These gluten-free Honey Apple Spice Scones are not very sweet, making them the perfect match for lashings of homemade jam.
Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
12 scones
Ingredients
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 70 g oat flour
  • 55 g sorghum flour
  • 25 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 50 g cold unsalted butter sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg +1 for the egg wash
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 1 dessert apple peeled, cored and cubed
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
12 scones
Ingredients
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 70 g oat flour
  • 55 g sorghum flour
  • 25 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 50 g cold unsalted butter sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg +1 for the egg wash
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 1 dessert apple peeled, cored and cubed
Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift the flours with the spices, baking powder and salt, then drop in the butter, rubbing together to form a breadcrumb texture.
  3. In a jug whisk the eggs into the milk with the honey and pour into the flour mixture.
  4. Stir together with a wooden spoon to bring together then turn out onto a clean work surface dusted with oat flour and using your hands gently turn the mixture round and round. As it is coming together sprinkle in the apple pieces bit by bit so they are evenly distributed. Carry on turning the dough a little longer until it forms a smooth dough which is no longer sticky.
  5. Press the dough out into an even round 1 inch thick and cut out the scones using 5cm round cutter.
  6. Place the scones on a large baking tray and brush the top of each scone lightly with whisked egg.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until the top of the scones are beautifully golden.

Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam

Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam is the perfect bridge between summer and autumn. The last of summer’s stone fruits are infused with the warming spices of cooler days.

Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam

Plums and damsons signal the last of the summer fruits as autumn looms on the horizon and I am winding down with all my local foraging. This is when my kitchen is at its busiest. Fruits and vegetables that haven’t yet made it into cakes, crumbles or suppers are now being canned, jammed and chutnied.

I have written about our family’s love of foraging several times before in this space and we were very excited that this year Cole was able to properly join in. The blackberry picking was a little precarious for him due to the prickles on the brambles and the stinging nettles which swarm around the hedgerows to protect the berries. Apples also were somewhat fraught as both toddler and dog kept attempting to run under the treacherous apples which showered down every time Luke shook the tree to dislodge the ripe fruit at the top.

Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam

Damsons on the other hand were a little more manageable. Cole loved picking the fallen fruit and helping Mummy put them into the hefty foraging bag. I was surprised how helpful he was. Yes, so I then had to be extra careful picking through the damsons when we got back home as he wasn’t so discerning as mummy and daddy over which fruit should make the grade. But it was almost like having an extra pair of hands. Surely it’s only a matter of time before he can take the rubbish out, unload the dishwasher and do a spot of hoovering.

Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam

As a result Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam is making its debut this weekend on the market stall. I’m joining the new Stroud Green Market which is launching this Sunday and I’m really excited. Our area hasn’t had a farmers’ market before, usually we have to drive a little distance to Alexandra Palace so I’m hoping everyone in the area, like me, will be welcoming the market with open arms. I thought there was no better way to show support for this new venture than having a stall there myself. I’ll be selling my gluten-free cakes and also launching my autumn collection of preserves.

Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam

This will be the first weekend I’ve had the preserves on the stall this year so I can definitely feel the change in the season. I always mean to produce my jams, chutneys, relishes, pickles, ketchups and jellies all year round but I never quite manage to pull my act together. I even thought about discontinuing the preserves which I wrote about in an earlier post but my joy in foraging and canning got the better of me again this summer and suddenly I found I had hundreds of jars which needed shifting.

I haven’t sold my Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam since my first preserves stall three years ago. Two years ago I had just had Cole so my foraging was scant and then last year our local damson trees didn’t seem to fruit all that well. This season though the fruit was juicy and plentiful. I swear each tree bears enough fruit for every household in Stroud Green to collect a few kilos.

Damsons

Damsons are smaller cousins to the plum and there are more trees around to forage from than you would think. Just look for the squashed purple fruit underfoot around late August September and you’ll probably find you’re standing beneath a damson tree. They are easy to collect, when the fruit is ripe just a shake of a branch releases a plethora of damson raindrops which can be collected by an artfully placed upturned umbrella already positioned underneath the chosen branch. I wouldn’t recommend eating damsons straight off the tree though as they are rather sour. Like many foraged fruits once sugar is added they come to life. They are fiddly to prepare as they have stones which are too tricky to part from the flesh in their raw state so I suggest cooking the damsons down first and then sifting through the pulp to collect the stones.

Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam

Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam is one of my favourite ways to preserve them. The orange and cinnamon notes are delightful this time of year as the evenings draw in and the scent of warming spices lure you in from the chilling weather. I’m looking forward to having the jars for sale at the market stall this weekend and if you’re in the area I hope you can pop by.

Print Recipe
Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam
Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam is the perfect bridge between summer and autumn. The last of summer’s stone fruits are infused with the warming spices of cooler days.
Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
12 x 200g jars
Ingredients
  • 2 kg damsons
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • 600 ml water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1,100 g granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
12 x 200g jars
Ingredients
  • 2 kg damsons
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • 600 ml water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1,100 g granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Damson Orange Cinnamon Jam
Instructions
  1. Wash the damsons and place them into a large baking dish along with the brown sugar. Place them in an oven pre-heated to 180°C and roast for 40 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Pass the damsons through a sieve into a large preserving pan. Pick through the pulp to remove all the stones, placing the stones in a large jug. Add the remaining stoneless pulp into the preserving pan.
  4. Fill the jug filled with stones with the 600ml water. Swirl around so all possible damson juice is loosened from the stones.
  5. Pour the water through a sieve into the preserving pan. Finally, discard the stones.
  6. Zest the oranges, setting aside the zest until the very end. Then juice the oranges. Add the orange juice to the preserving pan, along with all the spices.
  7. Bring to a boil and add the granulated sugar, stirring to dissolve.
  8. Once the sugar has dissolved add the lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil.
  9. Boil the jam for about 10 minutes until the temperature reaches 104°C or passes the saucer wrinkle test*.
  10. Remove from the heat, stir in the orange zest and decant into sterilised jars*.
Recipe Notes

*The saucer wrinkle test basically requires you to put about 5 saucers in your freezer when you begin making your jam. Once you think the jam might be ready then you can double check by removing a saucer from the freezer, dropping a teaspoon of jam on it then placing the saucer in the fridge. After about 30 seconds remove the saucer and push the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles up it’s ready, if it just pools back into the space your finger has left then it needs more bubbling time. Boil it another couple of minutes then turn off the heat and then test again with another saucer.

*To sterilise the jars place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar. I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.

Gooseberry Thyme Jam

Gooseberry Thyme Jam is wonderfully tart with earthy floral notes from the thyme. Of course it’s delicious on toast, crumpets and scones but don’t dismiss its excellence nestling happily on a cheese board.

Gooseberry Thyme Jam

The summer that I decided to make a go of it with my cake stall at the local farmers’ markets I was also fully invested with homemade preserves. I was churning jams, chutneys, butters, ketchups and pickles out of my kitchen at an alarming speed. I was spending early mornings and weekends foraging and then experimenting with my preserves during the day. We still have bountiful jars of rosehip jelly from that very productive time. So when I got a place at a farmers’ market I presumed I would also be selling my preserves right alongside the cakes. This was the dream.

For almost three years that dream has been a bit wobbly. The cakes are a no brainer, they are my deep love and they will make it to a market come rain, shine, wind or hail. I have never though been able to achieve real consistency with the preserves. I still make them, not in huge quantities though. But often I don’t have time to label them or forget to bring the box with me to market.

Gooseberry Thyme Jam

It’s about this time of year when I start looking ahead to the winter markets. I know, it’s crazy! I usually do a few winter fairs selling just preserves and now is the best time for me to start stocking up. My preserves only stall is the best fun. It doesn’t have the same concern that a cake stall may have over leftover stock and it’s easier to hand a customer over a jar than to carefully cut a slice of cake, box it, clean the knives, brush the cake crumbs off the table. Plus the preserves sell like gangbusters in the winter months as people think about their Christmas cold cuts and gifting.

Having just reminded myself how much I love the preserves stall though I’m not sure whether though this is the year to let it fall by the wayside.

Gooseberry Thyme Jam

I have less time than ever. I’m so thrilled that my cake business is doing really well with the markets, bespoke commissions and other opportunities that are on the horizon which I’ll tell you about soon. There is always more I can be doing though to get my cakes out there, admin for the website, social media and do I really want to cut into that time for the preserves?

It probably seems like the sensible decision to concentrate on the cakes when I only have a couple of days a week to do business related things but I have worked hard at developing my recipes, I have a loyal winter customer base and last year I even managed to get the preserves into the local delis. Do I really want to give that up? I am in such a quandary.

Gooseberry Thyme Jam

So, whilst I’m still deciding what to do about the preserves I will continue developing recipes, maybe to sell, maybe just for home use. And meanwhile the latest addition to my collection is a Gooseberry Thyme Jam. One of the easiest jams I have ever made. It only requires three ingredients and was an hour of pleasurable work from start to finish.

I do love a good jam, especially those made with the tarter fruits so they are not overly sweet. When I was a child I was brought up on jammy toast which seems like the ultimate indulgence to our current anti-sugar fever. Now though, I enjoy my jams as part of a cheese board at the end of a meal. Jams are the most excellent accompaniment to salty cheese and if you haven’t tried it then this Gooseberry Thyme Jam is the best place to start. A match made in heaven.

Gooseberry Thyme Jam

Print Recipe
Gooseberry Thyme Jam
Gooseberry Thyme Jam is wonderfully tart with earthy floral notes from the thyme
Gooseberry Thyme Jam
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
5x 200g jars
Ingredients
  • 800 g gooseberries
  • 650 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
5x 200g jars
Ingredients
  • 800 g gooseberries
  • 650 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Gooseberry Thyme Jam
Instructions
  1. Pour the gooseberries into a large preserving pan with 200ml water. Turn onto a gentle heat and cook the gooseberries until they start to go a bit pulpy.
  2. Sieve the gooseberry pulp and discard the skin and stem bits.
  3. Clean out the preserving pan and place the gooseberry pulp back in with the granulated sugar and the thyme leaves.
  4. Bring to a rolling boil, making sure to stir the bottom of the pan frequently so the fruit doesn’t stick. It should take 5-10 minutes from then to reach setting point.
  5. Once the jam reaches 104°C or passes the saucer wrinkle test* then decant into sterilised jars*.
Recipe Notes

*The saucer wrinkle test basically requires you to put about 5 saucers in your freezer when you begin making your jam. Once you think the jam might be ready then you can double check by removing a saucer from the freezer, dropping a teaspoon of jam on it then placing the saucer in the fridge. After about 30 seconds remove the saucer and push the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles up it’s ready, if it just pools back into the space your finger has left then it needs more bubbling time. Boil it a bit longer, then test again with another saucer.

*To sterilise the jars place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar. I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.

Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam

This Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a firm early autumn favourite recipe. It’s tangy and not too sweet and best of all contains no added pectin. There are just four ingredients: wild blackberries, granulated sugar, limes and a couple of bramley apples to help it set. The flavour is superb and just an hour or so of work from start to finish will result in the most deliciously versatile jam you can eat all year round.

This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.

Blackberries must be one of my favourite fruits as it was only when I was skimming through my archives that I realised how abundant my blackberry recipes are compared to other fruits. That is mainly because of our household obsession with foraging. I am not the worst culprit believe it or not, Luke, who has to be pried out of bed most mornings with a chisel, casts aside the duvet with giddy abandon when those first blackberries start bursting through the hedgerows. All our foraging is done at dawn whilst walking Billy Buddy, much to his chagrin. As Luke delves deep into the blackberry bushes, poor Billy hops from paw to paw, barely bearing the wait until Luke is back on more solid ground again.

This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.

We only have a small freezer but dollars for doughnuts you will always find this time of year the blackberries have stolen all the space. This Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam though has to be the recipe which you brandish victoriously when you’ve over indulged with the foraging. It was the first jam I truly loved as the juicy tartness of the blackberries and the zesty zing of the lime cut through all the sugar to create a really complex taste which is perfect for toast, for sandwich cakes, jam tarts and as a replacement filler in these oat bars.

This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.

This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.

This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.

I have always made this jam seedless and it’s a little bit of a faff but there are pros and cons to it. The pro is that you don’t need to prepare the bramley apples, bar a bit of rough chopping, which get thrown in a preserving pan with the blackberries straight off the bat. Once the fruit has softened then they get passed through a sieve which is the faffy con bit. However, if you do a lot of preserving then I seriously recommend a food mill which make very light work of removing the skin and seeds from the fruit without losing any fruit pulp.

This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.

If you don’t have a food mill and are de-seeding by hand and sieve then you might have a bit more substantial seedy pulp left behind in the sieve. Don’t you dare throw this away you lucky ducks as it’s marvellous for making blackberry vinegar or blackberry gin.

Print Recipe
Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam
This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.
This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
10x 180g jars
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg blackberries
  • 500 g bramley apples
  • 3 limes zest of 2 and juice of 3
  • 1 kg granulated sugar
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
10x 180g jars
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg blackberries
  • 500 g bramley apples
  • 3 limes zest of 2 and juice of 3
  • 1 kg granulated sugar
This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.
Instructions
  1. Firstly place 5 saucers into the freezer and then sterilize the jars and lids by placing them in an oven heated to 100°C for 20 minutes.
  2. Roughly chop the apples without peeling or coring, then place in a large preserving pan with the blackberries. Heat gently until all the fruit has softened.
  3. Remove from the heat, then pass everything through a sieve or food mill.
  4. Replace the seedless fruit pulp back into the saucepan and keep the seedy fruit pulp for another purpose (like blackberry gin or vinegar).
  5. Add the lime juice and sugar to the saucepan and heat gently so all the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and place on one of the cold saucers from the freezer. Leave for 1 minute then push the jam with your finger. If the jam wrinkles on the surface it’s ready. If not, then turn the jam back on a boil for a further 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and try the saucer test again.
  6. Once the jam is ready remove the scum from the surface of the jam and then stir in the lime zest.
  7. Decant the jam into the sterilised jars, screw the lids on tightly and store until ready to use.
Recipe Notes
  • The jam can be kept for up to 12 months if kept in a cool dark place

Raspberry Coconut Jam

This Raspberry Coconut Jam is the best thing that’s going to come out of your kitchen this summer.

Raspberry and Coconut Jam

Of all the jams surely raspberry jam is the most superior? Well it’s certainly the jam that the Women’s Institute deem the only appropriate jam for an approved WI Victoria Sandwich cake so that certainly tells us something. Here I’ve amped up a very easy raspberry jam by marrying it with coconut, a love story for our times and it’s no exaggeration to say that this Raspberry and Coconut Jam is taking over my life at the moment.

Last month we travelled up to Scotland for a wedding and made a mini-holiday of it. It’s a bit on an effort to go anywhere with a baby so we got quite cosy in Fife, staying at the gorgeous Cairnie Fruit Farm which not only has a maize maze (!!!) but they also bottle their own jam with fruit freshly plucked from the vine. On our arrival they left us a delicious pot of their raspberry jam with fresh scones. It was like I suddenly discovered raspberry jam again, I had forgotten just how utterly vibrant and exciting this most superior of jams is.

Raspberry and Coconut Jam

The secret to an easy raspberry jam is to use equal parts fruit and jam sugar. To be honest once you have that little bit of info in your back pocket you can pretty much make any jam. Raspberries don’t have much natural pectin, the special stuff present in most fruit which helps a jam achieve its setting point. You could pair the raspberries with another fruit like apples which are high in pectin, also a good method of making your raspberry jam go further, but if you are after a clean raspberry taste then jam sugar is your best friend as it has pectin built in. I also included the juice of a lemon not only for more pectin to ensure an easy set but also to encourage the piquancy of our raspberry flavour.

Raspberry and Coconut Jam

Now this wouldn’t be much of a love story without a leading man and for that part I have cast the superstar coconut. He is everything a raspberry could wish for, this jam is truly a romance for the ages. The two flavours are just meant to be together and that’s that.

My favourite way to incorporate a certain flavour into anything is to include two different dimensions of the same ingredient, so here I don’t just use coconut cream or desiccated coconut but a combination of both. The desiccated coconut is steeped in the heated coconut cream to soften it up and then this coconut flavourbomb is added at the beginning of the jam process. It couldn’t be easier.

If you don’t like coconut then you can simply use the method outlined below for the raspberry jam and omit the coconut but why would you??? It’s true love!

Raspberry and Coconut Jam

This jam is most excellent as the cake filling of a Victoria Sandwich (just don’t tell the WI there’s coconut in it) so to celebrate this epic Raspberry Coconut Jam I’ll be posting my best recipe for the best Victoria Sandwich in an upcoming post (hint: raspberry and coconut jam might be involved).

Print Recipe
Raspberry Coconut Jam
A classic raspberry jam, made all the better with lashings of coconut.
Raspberry and Coconut Jam
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
6x 200ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1 kg raspberries
  • 1 kg jam sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
6x 200ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1 kg raspberries
  • 1 kg jam sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
Raspberry and Coconut Jam
Instructions
  1. Place your raspberries, jam sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl and stir well. Leave to macerate together for at least a couple of hours.
  2. Pour the coconut cream into a saucepan and stir in the desiccated coconut. Bring to the boil then turn off the heat and let stand for a couple of hours.
  3. Stir the raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and coconut mixture together in a large preserving pan then bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Boil the mixture hard for about 5 minutes or until the jam has reached setting point (about 104.5°C).
  5. Decant the jam into sterilised jars and leave to cool. The jam can be stored in a cool dark place for about 12 months.
Recipe Notes
  • If you can’t find coconut cream you can extract the cream from a tin of coconut milk. Place a 400g tin of coconut milk in the fridge for a day or so, whereupon the coconut cream will harden and separate itself from the coconut water. When you open the tin you should be able to just scoop out the cream leaving the water behind. There should be about 200g of cream in a 400g tin.
  • I often do steps 1 and 2 last thing in the evening and place both the macerating raspberries and the steeping coconut in the fridge (in separate containers) and then begin my jam first thing the next day.

Pear and Cobnut Jam

Pear and Cobnut Jam is one of my favourites to make during Autumn when jamable fruits are few and far between. Cobnuts are a bit like hazelnuts so if you can’t get hold of local cobnuts then hazelnuts work well too.

Pear and Cobnut Jam

I have so much to say but so little time. I thought that by now I would have motherhood under control, be back to regular blog posts and up and running again on my market stall but I see from the leaves changing colour outside that it’s November and I don’t know what is happening to the year. My baby boy is five months old today and seems to be growing before my very eyes, every day I am relegating more of his clothes to the too-small pile. He is suddenly becoming separate from me, an individual member of our family with his personality shining through his smile and his effervescent gurgling of ba-ba-ba which is the comforting soundtrack to my life.

Pear and Cobnut Jam

This week we started weaning and as you can imagine it’s something I have been looking forward to so much. I am convinced I am raising a mini baker or chef since food is the backbone to mine and Luke’s life. Cole is being incredibly gung-ho about it after his unsure beginnings with a first taste of mashed sweet potato. Now he has also tried banana, apple and cauliflower but last night he had his favourite meal yet – carrot and swede mash which is also one of my most favourite things to eat and for the first time in his life, we ate the same dinner together.

Still I am just about pulling myself together at the moment. The seasons have come and gone taking my recipe inspiration with them but it has suddenly arrived at my favourite time of year and I have some definite ingredients that I am longing to play with. Now the baby has agreed to go to sleep at 7pm most nights, providing I am not too zombie-like after a day of singing Wind The Bobbin Up and Wheels on The Bus I may even utilise this time to my blog’s benefit.

Pear and Cobnut Jam

Until now I have been spending my evenings preparing for my annual preserve stall at the Stroud Green WInter Fair at the end of this month. I had high hopes of hitting a few Christmas markets this year but I have had to be realistic and have just made a select few of my favourite jams and chutneys to sell at this particular fair which is the most dear to me. Of course it’s the one I help to organise on behalf of Stroud Green WI so of course I couldn’t not have a stall at this most prestigious of events.

Alongside my usual homemade christmas puddings, mincemeats and chutneys I am also including this divine Pear and Cobnut Jam. Last year I didn’t make nearly enough jams for my Christmas markets but this year I hadn’t got my act together in time to make the most of the summer fruits so I was stuck with autumn’s offerings. I remembered reading recently about a delicately flavoured pear jam and when I saw these juicy numbers sat alongside the cobnuts at our farmers’ market in Ally Pally a couple of weeks ago it seemed obvious that was the route to go down.

Pear and Cobnut Jam

The jam has turned out so well so I really wanted to share the recipe here. Pears have a tendency to go watery and mushy once cooked so in order to keep their structure in the jam I macerated them for a couple of days in the sugar with some apples and lemons for pectin and a fragrant hit of vanilla bean and mixed spice. The crunch of cobnuts which are added at the end of cooking are such a surprise in a jam and well worth hunting down at your local farmers’ market.

This gentle amber coloured nectar tastes of wellies splashing in puddles, warm cosy evenings by the fire and Downton Abbey on a Sunday Night.

Pear and Cobnut Jam

I hope it’s not too long before my next post…

Print Recipe
Pear and Cobnut Jam
A light fragrant jam speckled with sweet cobnuts
Pear and Cobnut Jam
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 48 hours
Servings
10x 190ml jars
Ingredients
  • 2 kg pears
  • 500 g apples
  • 1600 g jam sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 300 g cobnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 48 hours
Servings
10x 190ml jars
Ingredients
  • 2 kg pears
  • 500 g apples
  • 1600 g jam sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 300 g cobnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Pear and Cobnut Jam
Instructions
  1. Peel and core the apples and pears then dice into small pieces.
  2. Place the fruit in a large dish and toss with the sugar, the juice of both lemons but the zest of only 1, the vanilla bean seeds, the pod of the vanilla bean and the mixed spice.
  3. Cover with clingfilm pressed to the surface of the fruit then refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours.
  4. Meanwhile de-husk and shell the cobnuts and place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C for 10 minutes to toast. Leave to cool then chop roughly.
  5. Place the pears and apples into a large preserving pan and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 30 minutes and then test for set using the saucer wrinkle test*
  6. Once the jam has set then stir in the chopped cobnuts and butter to disperse all the foam on the top and cook for a further minute before removing from the heat and decanting into sterilised jars.*
Recipe Notes

*The saucer wrinkle test basically requires you to put about 5 saucers in your freezer when you begin making your jam. Once you think the jam might be ready then you can double check by removing a saucer from the freezer, dropping a teaspoon of jam on it then placing the saucer in the fridge. After about 30 seconds remove the saucer and push the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles up it’s ready, if it just pools back into the space your finger has left then it needs more bubbling time. Boil it another couple of minutes then turn off the heat and then test again with another saucer.

*To sterilise the jars place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar. I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.