Every year I make jams and chutneys during the summer and autumn. This seems to keep us going through the year. Supplies are running a little low now, so it seemed like perfect timing to make some more. Lakeland kindly sent me some of their preserving range to make life a bit easier.
I’m always on the lookout for new recipes and new ideas, so being sent the Lakeland Preserves book was a real treat. After some pleasant browsing through, I decided to try the Any Berry Jam. I liked the sound of the flexibility of this recipe because it allows you to combine whichever berries you have to hand, so it’s ideal for using up the last of your crop. I’ve also got my eye on their apricot and vanilla jam recipe, just need to find some reasonably priced apricots. It’s not just jams too: there are chutneys, piccalilli, sauces and more.
My Any Berry Jam was heavy on the blackberries and they are in season and free. Making the jam gave me the opportunity to try out Lakeland’s Thermospatula. It’s specially designed for cooking anything that requires a specific temperature like jam or chocolate. I’m a big fan of silicone spatula and this one has an integral digital thermometer, which displays the temperature of your mixture as you stir. You can remove the thermometer from the spatula if you need to wash it in a dishwasher. There’s no need to have a separate meat thermometer as this one does that job too when you have it removed from the spatula. So it’s a versatile and useful piece of kit.
Once my jam was ready and in the jars, I used the Jam Label Kit also from Lakeland. I think you’ll agree that my jars look very pretty with their gingham tops tied with ribbons. The sticky labels are useful, but continue the cottagy theme. A nice touch is the gift labels for those extra jars that you want to give as presents.