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Thursday, 13 August 2009

Courgette and Ginger Jam aka Marrow and Ginger Jam

I always make the mistake of planting too many courgette plants around the place... 2 of them would be more than enough, but no, I have to play safe and plant 7. I'm a fool as now I am over run and can't keep up with making 101 things with courgettes (I could write an entire book of recipes for them).

In case you are in the states or Australia, courgettes are otherwise known as zucchini. Zucchini are originally from South America, and courgette is the French word for them. They are in fact the immature fruits of the marrow, and when left to grow obviously grow into marrows - which adds to the list of things I can make with them ! Oh goodie I can't wait. Well actually I can as I am fast running out of ideas..

One wonderful thing you can make with mature courgettes, which is when they are marrow size, is Marrow and Ginger Jam.

Now I know this sounds disgusting, but in fact it's the most incredibly sublime jam I have ever had, which once in your mouth has the added surprise of a little kick from the ginger. Always stick to the actual fresh ingredients, or else you will not have the delicate wonderful jam I'm raving about.

So here goes:



3lbs large Courgettes or Marrow, weighed after peeling, chopping into 1cm thick pieces and de-seeding

4lbs White Granulated Sugar

1oz Fresh Ginger Root

1oz Crystalised Ginger (finely chopped)

Grated rind and juice of 2 Lemons

Rind and juice of 1 Orange

1. Place the peeled & chopped courgettes in a large bowl and sprinkle over about one third of the sugar. Cover. Let this stand and soak through overnight at least (in the fridge in a warm climate).

2. Place the grated ginger root, lemon and orange rind in a piece of muslin and tie up the muslin into a bag. Place the muslin bag in the cooking pan with the courgettes, orange and lemon juices.

3. Simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Add 1oz of finely chopped crystalised ginger to the pan.

4. Add the remaining sugar and boil gently until setting point is reached and the courgettes look transparent.

5. Remove and discard the muslin bag.

6. Pot the hot jam into clean, warm, sterilised jars, cover with waxed paper discs, set aside to cool and cover in the usual way. Alternatively you can simply put the normal jar caps on whilst the jam is still very hot, as this will create a sealed sterile vacuum as the air and jam inside cools.

Makes about 6lbs

*Setting Point*
Many people find it hard to know when the setting point has been reached, and there is no hard and fast set period of time for this to happen. It all depends on the fruit used, how it grew and what it contains etc.
To test to see if jam is set, spoon out a small bit onto an already chilled plate or small dish. Place this in the fridge for 15 minutes. If it wrinkles on the surface and appears set after that time - the jam is ready to put in the jars.
Remember - while you are testing the setting point, always take the pan off the heat, otherwise it will go on getting stiffer and set harder than you want.

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