Many years ago I spotted that CJJ Berry had a recipe for Jam Wine. I filed this information away under the heading "Odd and Not Useful". Over the last few months I have watched our 'Home Made Condiments' cupboard fill to capacity and started to wonder whether I should dust down that recipe. Also, stored in the attic, were a collection of jars that we brought with us when moving house in 2015 and which have lurked there ever since.
|Jars found in the attic|
Claire was fully on board with this wine - it solved the problem of all those jars, but first of all we needed to play "Jam or Chutney". This involved opening each jar (more difficult than it sounds) and taking a taste - because of course only about half were labelled. This appeared to produce no chutney, lots of marmalade (which I did not use) and some sort of jelly with large pieces of garlic floating in it - also rejected.
|A different view of the same jars|
Notice the dust!
In the end I used nine jars in a variety of sizes and these were: Plum 2013, Strawberry 2013, Gooseberry 2011, Bramble Jelly 2013, Rowan Jelly 2005, Damson 2014, Crabapple & Chili Jelly, Fig, and Quince Jelly. The Crabapple & Chili was the nicest, the Rowan the worst.
On Sunday 8th November, I tipped all contents into my bucket (together it looked like an enormous, disgusting blood clot) and poured over 6½ pints of boiling water. I gave it a good stir and left it overnight for the jam to dissolve. On Monday morning I added two teaspoons of citric acid and one of pectolase. Then in the evening (rather than 24 hours later as instructed by the recipe) I added 8 oz of minced raisins, 1 lb of sugar and a teaspoon each of yeast, nutrient and tannin.
The yeast (which was a new tub and a different variety) did not take and I feared that this wine would have to be thrown out. On Wednesday I made a yeast starter, with the half teaspoon left of my old yeast, half a pint of warm water and half a pint of the jam wine. This started fermenting and continued to do so after adding a further pint of the wine, so I poured it into the bucket. Success!
I put the liquid into its demijohn on 15th November - which took quite a while. During this process I noticed large bits of onion in the solids that I was sieving out. "This appeared to produce no chutney" was a rash and inaccurate statement. "Jam or Chutney" is a surprisingly difficult game.
|Jam wine in its demijohn|