In our house there aren’t many arguments, some might say that’s because the Blonde knows better than to disagree with “practically perfect” me, but there are a couple of topics that will send us both into mild strops and sulky faces across the kitchen table. The first is the perennial tea versus milk debate (obviously tea first then the milk) and the second and by far more controversial is the order in which you load the cream and jam onto your scones.
Although I adore Cornish and would give my eye-teeth for a just-baked pasty at most times of the day I can’t agree with them when it comes to a cream tea. On this thorny topic I have my feet firmly in the Devonshire camp with big dollops of clotted cream going on first topped with a teaspoon full (or two) of jam. The Blonde maintains that the jam provides a grip for the cream but he’s just plain wrong. You’d never put jam on a piece of bread and then put the butter on the top – think about it.
The one thing we don’t disagree on though is the jam. Forget strawberry, you need to get with the raspberry. The punchy hit of a good raspberry jam makes strawberry look like it’s poor relation both in terms of taste and looks.
With a garden full of raspberries this year I just had to turn my hand to making our very own Castle Farm variety, something that’s sure to delight the Blonde on his early morning toast (butter on second of course). In amongst my old recipe books I stumbled upon a version called Three Day Raspberry Jam. The results were amazing; an incredibly intense flavour and a deep ruby red colour. This recipe comes from Thane Prince.
- 1.5kg raspberries
- 1.5kg white granulated sugar
- Freshly squeezed juice of 4 lemons
(i) In a large non metallic bowl, layer the raspberries with sugar, then sprinkle with the juice. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.
(ii) Scrape the contents of the bowl into a preserving pan and bring slowly to the boil – without stirring. Allow the mixture to bubble over a low heat for five minutes.
(iii) Remove from the heat, cover and allow to stand for another 48 hours in the fridge.
(iv) Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture back to the boil. Skim thoroughly, then boil until a setting point is reached. The jam will always be quite soft, so boil it gently until it seems to have the right consistency.
Now, off you go and enjoy this with your cream tea and remember to always specify a china tea with the milk poured second!