A guest review from Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
Everyone loves a generous helping of homemade jam on hot buttered toast. Making your own jam is not as daunting a process as an inexperienced home cook might think and this new edition book by Gina Steer, published in August 2013 by Flame Tree Publishing, does what it says on the tin. This is a collection of traditional tried and true recipes using straight forward store cupboard ingredients with instructions written in a clear, easy to understand format.
It’s a small 256 page paperback book measuring only 160 x 170 mm which means it doesn’t fit in nicely with the rest of the hardcover books on my cookbook shelf, although its compact size means it could make an ideal stocking filler for the jam maker in your life.
There are plenty of colourful photographs throughout although they are not always of the finished product. Unfortunately these images are stock photos which does detract away from the visual appeal of the book.
I am not a fan of ruining perfectly fine fresh fruit with copious quantities of sugar as required in the majority of the recipes in this book. There is one low sugar strawberry jam recipe, but I tried the marrow and ginger jam (as a marrow can only be improved with sugar!) and it had a gorgeous flavour and set perfectly. I was pleased with this as it was my first ever attempt at making homemade jam.
The book is divided into eight chapters including information on ingredients and equipment, classic jams, jellies, marmalades, curds, cheese and butters, chutneys, pickles, preserved fruits, vegetables, oils and vinegars. The recipes themselves certainly sound simple and delicious and would be worth trying if you happened to have a glut of fruit or vegetables, but the style of the book doesn’t really encourage you to try them.
The book can be purchased for £8-99 from Amazon, although I would suggest you borrow it from the library first and see what you think.
Fuss Free Rating
Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Chutneys by Gina Steer: ***
Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Chutneys is published by Flame Tree, cover price £8.99
Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary received a complimentary copy for review on behalf of Fuss Free Flavours. All opinions are our own, we were not required to write a positive review