Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pimms Jam

During my earlier Cucumber Lime Jam with Vanilla experiment, it occurred to me that an alcohol-favoured cucumber jam might work.

When it comes to cucumbers and alcohol, the first thing that comes to mind is the classic Pimms cocktail, in which Pimms No.1 Cup is combined with lemonade, cucumber, strawberries, oranges and garnished with fresh mint.

And so this is a jam made from that combination of fruits, and a generous slug of Pimms. With a little help from my other half for the orange wrangling.

The effect I was aiming for was chunks of strawberry and orange, with shreds of cucumber and zest all floating in a fruity Pimms gel.
  • 1kg cucumber, coarsely grated.
  • 1kg seedless oranges.
  • 4 lemons.
  • 1pt hot water.
  • 1 cup Pimms No.1 Cup.
  • 1kg strawberries, hulled and sliced.
  • Another cup of Pimms.
  • 3kg sugar.
  • A final couple of tbsp of Pimms.
Put the grated cucumber into a maslin pan.
Wash and pare the zest from the oranges and lemons in ling thin shreds. Add the zest to the pan.
Peel the oranges, reserving the pith, and separate into segments. Slice the segments into chunks and add to the pan.
Juice the lemons, reserving the pith and seeds, and add the juice to the pan.
Tie up all the reserved orange and lemon pith, peel and seeds in a muslin bag, and add to the pan.
Measure out 1 cup of Pimms, and add to the pan.
Boil a kettle and pour 1pt of hot water over the muslin-tied peel in the pan.
Leave to soak for a couple of hours to start extracting the pectins.

Put the pan over a low heat and cook gently until the zest shreds are soft. Leave to cool down again until you can safely handle the muslin bag.
Squeeze the juice and pectins from the muslin bag of pith into the pan, and then remove and discard the cooked pith.
Add the sliced strawberries to the pan, along with the second cup of Pimms, and simmer gently for a few minutes until they soften.
Add the sugar, and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has all dissolved.
Bring the mixture to the boil and cook until jam setting point.
Once setting point has been reached, turn off the heat and let the jam cool slightly, whilst warming the jars.
As the jam cools and thickens slightly, stir in the final cup of Pimms.
Pack into warm jars and seal in the usual way.

Well, it turned out darker than I thought, and the strawberries lost a bit too much colour to the rest of the jam in the boiling down, but there are strawberry chunks. The other half says it tastes like strawberry marmalade, which you'd expect given the fruit mix.