Whilst attending a meeting in Mid Wales this week, I found myself having to park the car on a bit of wasteland. Imagine my delight when I got out of the car and discovered a bush full of wild raspberries. What a delight! So when I came out of the meeting, in true MSE style, I had a carrier bag and filled it as full as I could. Today I spent the afternoon making some raspberry jam. I am really looking forward to giving this to a friend as a lovely birthday present. I used the “MAKING YOUR OWN.CO.UK” website for my recipe and adjusted the ingredients.

3lb (1.3kg) granulated sugar
3lb (1.3kg) raspberries

1. Wash and drain off the raspberries before placing in the preserving pan and very gently simmer for around 10 minutes. During this time, the juice will be gradually extract itself from the fruit, causing the raspberries to become very soft and tender.

2. The raspberries should then be taken off the heat. Add the sugar, taking care to make sure that it is stirred in until completely dissolved.

3. The pan can then be put back on the heat and brought to the boil.

4. Once the mixture has been brought to the boil, it should be boiled rapidly for 5 minutes. During this time you may notice the formation of frothy ‘scum’ in the jam.

5. After 5 minutes of rapid boiling any scum needs to be removed if you opted not to grease the pan beforehand. To do this, take the jam off the heat, and allow the jam to set for a while. Then take a small knob of butter and add to the jam, which will help to diffuse the froth.

6. You will then need to test how well your jam has set. If you have a thermometer, you can simply warm the thermometer up by dipping in hot water, before placing in the jam. The temperature needs to read 105C/220F to obtain the right setting conditions. If you don’t have a thermometer, try putting a little jam onto a fridge-cooled plate. Leave the jam for around a minute and then gently nudge the surface of the jam. Any wrinkling indicates that setting point has been reached.

7. If you are satisfied that your jam has set properly, you will then need to pour it into your jars and seal. It is important that your jars are airtight and sealed as quickly as possible – straight away is ideal. Remember to label and date your jars!