How wonderful that the Queen is celebrating her 90th year! Her first birthday event was celebrated when she lit the first in a chain of beacons around the country on 21st of April with more celebrations to follow.
How I wish I could have two birthdays myself!
Now the Queen is known for her love of raspberry jam pennies (small, round sandwiches) washed down with a cup of Earl Grey so to mark this momentous occasion, I’m sharing my very own raspberry and bergamot jam recipe.
It really is the easiest, quickest jam recipe you’ll ever try your hand at (taking just 30 minutes to make) and it tastes delicious too.
…Bergamot essential oil comes from the peel of Italian bergamot oranges and is famously used in Earl Grey tea.
Here, I’m using glass jars I’ve sterilised to store the jam in.
A long-time fan of glass, its properties are endless. Glass is 100% recyclable, reusable, refillable and glass really is THE best packaging option to protect the environment.
Glass lives and can be recycled forever! We love Friends of Glass whose site is bursting with inspiring ways to use and recycle (reuse) glass.
Finding the right jam jar for you and decoration tips:
There are all sorts of preserving and jam jar styles on the market- and excitingly, a great many ways to decorate them.
We opted for screw caps here decorated with fabric lids and ribbons we picked up on Amazon.
There are of course many different varieties of jam jars (and all manner of things you can do with them from serving up cocktails to even creating your own snow globes with them). Look out for screw cap, flip top, small, medium or large varieties or simply recycle empty honey and jam jars.
When it comes to decorating my jars, I love traditional gingham jar covers and while you can cut up spare fabric of your own if you have any, I personally opted to buy a set of perfectly round covers which come with fine elastic online. I also picked up Union Jack ribbon to wrap around the jars, securing them with a little sticky tape.
You can also buy labels to place on the top or sides of your jars too if you like, which you can personalise yourself or buy ready-made.
It’s useful to pop the date on your jam too so you can keep track of when you made it.
My recipe allows you to store the jam for approximately 12 months unopened in the pantry (it can last longer) or it should be consumed within 6 months once opened in the fridge.
Tips for sterilising your jars:
First up wash your jam jars in soapy water, ensuring they are totally clean. Dry thoroughly.
Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1.
Line the jars on a baking sheet and put them in the oven to dry completely.
If using jars with rubber seals, boil those as oven drying can ruin them (the jars can still be oven-dried).
Now for the recipe-
- 750g raspberries
- 450g jam sugar (the one with pectin added)
- 25-30 drops of Bergamot extract (you can buy it Begamot here)
Put a plate in the freezer. You will be using this later to help you test whether the jam has set.
Place the raspberries into a preserving pan or large heavy-based saucepan. No water is needed. Bring to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer the fruit for 2 minutes until totally collapsed.
Add the jam sugar and stir through until completely dissolved. Raise the heat and bring to a full rolling boil, cooking the raspberries for 5 minutes, until the setting point of 104.5°C is reached.
You can tell when your jam is reaching setting point as the fast boil will slow down and tiny air bubbles will disappear leaving a thick, glossy mixture.
Remove from the heat, take off any scum -stirring a knob of butter across the surface will help dissolve any scum residue.
Remove the plate from the freezer and drop a little jam onto it.
If it wrinkles and looks like jam, it’s ready.
If it doesn’t, boil again for a few minutes and retest.
If it appears ready, leave to cool for 10 minutes then pour into sterilised jars.
- Butter for spreading
- Slices of bread-we’ve opted for a soft wholemeal variety but any you fancy will do.
To create the pennies- make a sandwich buttering the bread, adding the jam and placing together then use a small circular cutter or an egg cup and cut into bite-sized rounds within (so miss the crusts)!
My taste-testers aged 6 and 3 preferred their sandwiches white but feel free to use any kind of bread you fancy!
Serve with piping cup of hot Earl grey! A treat fit for a Queen!
This is a commissioned post.