Two-day-old fridge berries jam

Drop scones and two-day-old fridge berry jam for breakfast


You go up to the allotment in the late afternoon and everything is bursting with juice. The scent of the strawberry patch makes it impossible to walk past without stuffing yourself to the point of queasiness. So once you’ve reached the point of no more eating you pick and you pick and fill a big Tupperware container with strawberries, raspberries, tayberries. How beautiful and glistening they are. You take a picture of them for twitter and get some virtual applause for owning such very fine berries, then you wash them and pick the wriggling things off of them and all have big bowls of them with ice cream after tea. Then there’s still loads left so you pop them in the fridge and all eat them with yoghurt for a breakfast so healthy and seasonal and gorgeous. But – oh – there’s STILL loads left that evening and now they’re not quite so tempting, plus you’ve really eaten quite a lot of strawberries in the last 24 hours. You’ll just leave them sitting there in the fridge, for tomorrow. By then the ones closest to the back have got a bit too cold and developed severe mush all down one side, the others look a bit pale and troubled. You show them to the children and they pull faces. You dont even consider showing them to twitter.

It seems criminal for any home-grown berry that once aromatically wafted across your entire plot to end up on the compost heap, and so last night I mined the fridge for these nearly-gruesome bits of pre-compost, put them in a pan, added a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla sugar plus an old vanilla pod fished out of it and the juice of about half a lime, and simmered for about ten minutes before switching it off to cool (this is not actually jam  of course, probably more compote, and it wouldn’t last if jarred, but it only had to last until the morning and the kids are more likely to eat jam than compote, so jam it was named). I then made drop scone mix, covered both with cling film, and went to sleep. This morning we breakfasted like kings, queens, princes, and really quite stroppy little princesses (despite the fact that her mother had gone to all that trouble).

10 Responses to Two-day-old fridge berries jam

  • Arabella Sock says:

    My parents grew a lot of nice berries. Once when Granny Grimblesock came to stay she helped by picking, washing and serving them up for pud. As I tucked ino my portion I noticed something on the spoonful making its way to my mouth didn’t look right. An earwig swimming in berry juice! And I got told off for making a fuss!

  • Jane Willis says:

    Lovely, lovely! It reads like the beginnings of a story book. You need an illustrator to bring the stroppy strawberry princess to life. Scones, jam and cream for breakfast and still stroppy!

    • lialeendertz says:

      That’s my girl! AND i did it all just so she would actually eat breakfast and be less stroppy…Thanks for saying nice things x

  • Simon S says:

    The best recipes (or at least the best ones I’ve bothered to read) suggest steeping the berries o/night in sugar so it follows that only the “best” jam can be made from two day old (or day 2) berries.
    The strawberry/loganberry juice/sugar mix in our pressure cooker is now 3 days old & as far as I am concerned can only improve with age.

    • lialeendertz says:

      I think the sugar draws the juices out so the fruit holds together better when boiled? So yours are going to be admirably solid.

  • pianolearner says:

    We are awash with berries at the moment too, there’s only so many I can have with my cornflakes/yoghurt/supper/lunch/tea. Our Tayberry produced 1 berry in it’s first year (which we split in half), nowadays it has literally hundreds of the things on them. The strawbs have had their best year ever and now the blackcurrants and goosberries have ripened we are officially drowning under fruit. We still have a bottle and half of last years blackcurrant gin in the larder so I’m not sure what we are going to do with this years lot. I think wellywoman is freezing them for some as yet unanticipated emergency that will require shed loads of red fruit.
    And all this is before the 7 metres of rasps start fruiting .Arrgh!


    • lialeendertz says:

      I think sticking them all in gin has to be the way forward, doesnt it? Christmas presents ahoy. Im even thinking of gooseberry gin…who knows? And come the berry-requiring apocalypse we can just fish them out.

  • pianolearner says:

    Be careful what you say, you nearly ended up with one of our blackcurrant gins….