You may have seen the Bucket List that I put together at the start of the year and the update that I added recently. I’m doing quite well at ticking things off so far but one thing I wasn’t sure would get ticked off was ‘Make Jam’. I always wanted to make jam and every year we get literally kilos of strawberries from the plants in our garden but not having any of the equipment to make jam I wasn’t sure I’d ever get around to it. When KitchenCraft offered me the chance to review a Home Made 11 Piece Preserving Starter Set I knew it would be a great way to start making jam and tick something else off my 2014 Bucket list!
The preserving set contains literally everything you need to make jam apart from fruit and sugar. It contains 6 x 454ml jars, maslin pan, jam thermometer, stainless steel jam funnel, 8 fabric covers including ribbons and fastening bands and 30 jam jar labels – All in a lovely box that would make it an ideal gift.
There were recipes on the box but I chose to go for a very basic strawberry jam recipe, saved up strawberries from our garden and bought some special preserving sugar with added pectin – I didn’t realise that there was so much science to jam making and it was great to learn something new!
The maslin pan is huge and perfect for the job with two handles and shaped to be able to pour easily. I added the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to the pan and turned up the heat. According to my recipe I had to soften the fruit before adding the sugar and then get it to the optimum setting temperature of 105C. This is where the thermometer came in handy! The thermometer goes all the way up to 200C and has a useful catch to attach it to the side of the pan and remove it without burning yourself.
Whilst I was making the jam, Hubby set about sterilising the jars for me with the help of our trusty dishwasher. The fact the set comes with jars is fantastic – I would always forget to keep jars and we don’t tend to finish things off that often. The funnel fit perfectly in the top of the jar and as the jars were a pretty average size the funny should fit most jars. The maslin pan was quite heavy and still hot so I used a ladle to spoon the jam into the jars and put the lids on top. The funnel definitely made the process a whole lot easier!
When the jam was safely in the jars I then had the fun part of adding labels and covers to the lids. My only criticism of the whole set is that the ribbons to add onto the lids were very short, I found it hard to tie bows and an extra cm or two of ribbon would have been lovely but the fabric covers really finished off the jam jars are turned them from just a jar of jam into the perfect gift.
This set is great for anyone wanting to make jam and I am already planning future flavours – We bought a plum tree this year so I know plum jam will be on the horizon!
The Home Made 11 Piece Preserving Set has an RRP of £59.99.