Monday, December 22, 2014

Em's Feijoa Jam

We have been very busy making feijoa jam for everyone for Christmas! During the year we harvested kilos of feijoas from the in-laws tree and froze the pulp after scooping it into containers. A few weekends ago we thawed them to make the jam. We had a little trouble with getting it to set. Now, after much research we know feijoas don't have much pectin, which is needed to get it to set nicely. Some of our batches worked out ok but the big batch we did needed some jam setter (which is pectin) added. Next time we want to try adding apple, a fruit high in pectin. I also experimented with using gelatine, which worked but it needs to be kept in the fridge.

Things we learnt:
-Use the right amount of sugar (usually same ration as fruit)
-Add lemon juice (jam needs acidic acid to help set)
-Use jam setter to help set fruit jams low in pectin or add other high-pectin fruits like apple
-Do not over cook jam (it will caramelise and become very sweet tasting, taking the freah fruit taste away)

1kg Feijoa, peeled
1/3 cup water
800g -1kg sugar
1tsp ginger powder
3Tbs lemon juice

Bring water and feijoa to the boil in a pan, and cook until the fruit is tender. Add sugar, lemon juice and ginger and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Boil until the jam will set. Test by spreading a spoonful of jam on a cold plate (start testing after about 10 minutes of cooking time). Bottle in hot sterilised jars while the mixture is hot.

To sterilise jars
Preheat oven to 120C. Clean jars well with hot soapy water and rinse well. Let drain then place upright on oven tray. Place in oven and heat for 20mins. Fill while hot with hot jam. Boil lids in saucepan for 10mins then let drain.

Em's Redback Spider

I made this red-back spider to go in the shed toilet. I painted some rocks black with red stripes and then twisted copper wire into shape around the rock. Twisting the thick copper wasn't easy. I had to use pliers, which were at times too big to get into the small areas but I persisted and am very happy, albeit a little scared of the outcome. When it was sitting on the bench before it was hung I often gave it a double look. It freaked out our poor nephew who screamed, ran away and cried (oops!). What's an outdoor toilet without a red-back spider!