“It is like a jam factory in here” said Mum.

I’ve brought the boys to stay with my parents for a few days to do all the things we normally do, somewhere else, with extra pairs of hands.  We’re having fun.

One of our reasons for the trip is to collect late-summer fruit and make jam together.  My parents enjoy foraging just as much as we do so, equipped with large bags, punnets and a long pole, we head for the Dunton Plotlands, the remnants of an area of small holiday homes for Londoners from the early 1900s which became permanent abodes after The Blitz.  A variety of fruit trees, as well as the ubiquitous blackberry bush, are abundant in the area.

Being the summer holidays a lot of the fruit has already been collected but there is still more than we know what to do with.  We return home with early cooking apples, various types of plums, and damsons.

The apples went into a caramelised apple pie which we ate with cream for pudding.

We’ve decided that the best way to make jam-making less arduous is to simmer the fruit earlier in the day or even on the previous day and then add the sugar and make the jam in the evening, after the children have gone to bed.  Despite the fact that my Mum taught me to make jam we find that our methods have diverged somewhat over the years.  I like to use a jam thermometer, she doesn’t need one!  She likes to fish the stones out after the fruit is cooked rather than de-stone the cold fruit.

Our minor disagreements aside, we both agree that the jam tastes delicious!