I love summer. Okay, it doesn't have the crisp bright mornings of autumn, or the cosy evenings of winter, or the fresh new smells of spring. But it does have sunshine (no really, this year England seems to have remembered what summer is all about and conjoured up some proper hot sunshine!) and with that sunshine comes flowers, and after flowers, fruit!
Although the berries in our garden don't seem to be thriving (I'm not sure why, I clearly need to do some more reading up on the matter) the farmer's market has been packed with bright jewels
I can't tell you how excited I was when I spotted the above. Loganberries! I'd never actually seen a loganberry in real life until this morning, I'd only seen photos and eaten them in jam. My favourite jam ever in fact. Loganberries are like raspberries, but larger, sharper and richer, they make the most divine jam, and I wanted me some of that.
I know, just last week I was complaining at how much jam I had to make and how ridiculous a project preserving is in such hot weather. Well, today I got right back on the horse. I had to, these red babies just called out to be potted for later in the year. The loganberry season is notoriously short and by the time we'd dragged ourselves out of bed and to the farmer's market there were only two punnets left. I pounced on them and couldn't give the man the cash fast enough!
I wasn't sure at that point what I was going to do with them, I just knew they had to be mine. I pondered a fool, or tarts topped with them, or even a compote. But having removed all the stalks I weighed the results and had almost a pound, just enough to produce two little jars of jam.
So now, I can put these pots of goodness away until the winter, and then indulge and be smug that I finally managed to snatch some up for my very own in the summer.
See, no matter how hot or hard the days, I can't be kept out of the kitchen! And don't worry, I have a lovely plan for those gooseberries, which will be coming soon.
Loganberry Jam: Makes 1 2/3 lbs.
450g loganberries (after the stalks have been removed and the berries washed and patted dry)
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Place the berries in a large pan with the squeeze of lemon juice (this is not for set, as loganberries set really well, I use it for a hint of extra tartness and stop the jam being too sweet), cook over a low heat until the juices are released and the berries become tender. Add the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved. Then raise the heat and boil rapidly until set (this will probably occur very quickly). Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.
The jam should keep for a year, but refridgerate after opening.