Some things I can understand--apples that look as if they were stuffing from Muhammad Ali's punching bag, capsicums so wrinkly no amount of Botox would save them, bags of salad greens that look as if they were dredged from the local patch of wetlands.
Last week I rolled by the rack--they usually have giant bags of still-good mushrooms begging to be sent to a good home. No mushrooms, but four containers of absolutely lovely and almost blemish-and-fuzz-free blackberries (no, not the RIM crackberry). It could have been a mistake--whether "on purpose" (as in staff trying to get cheap food for friends who show up at the *exact* right time), or overzealous stockers trying to get rid of them for whatever reason (really, let's not guess)). But they had the neon pink triangular stickers screaming their affordability...I couldn't say "no" to that, so I bundled four containers into my trolley and went on my merry way to ponder the universes of sweet potatoes, roasting chickens and freezer bags.
Apart from nibbling on them here and there, or tumbling them on ice cream, I realised that I was a greedy guts and bought more than I could realistically finish before they really deserved to be on the discount rack. What to do what to do...
I suppose I could have frozen them, but nah. I came up with something better (well, for me at least)
Pan jam, that lovely makeshift jam perfect for small batches of fruit. I suppose you could sterilise a bottle or two and properly preserve them, but when you only have about a cup or two's worth of jam, it's just easiest to keep it in the fridge and have it with your morning toast, on ice cream or enrobe it in bits of leftover pastry (waste not, want not, I suppose).
And yes...whenever I think of or make "pan jam" Ram Jam starts running through my head...always Black Betty...which then makes me crave apple brown betty...with dollops of jam.
The recipe is rather loosey goosey. It is done to taste and is totally based on the sweetness of your fruit. My ratio of fruit to sugar is 10:1 by weight. So, in other words, for 100g of fruit, add 10 g sugar and then adjust if you want it sweeter.
300g blackberries, rinsed
30g sugar (plus more, if necessary)
a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange
a splash of vanilla
Add fruit and sugar to a pan over a medium hob. Stir together, eventually the fruit gives up its liquid and starts to become...jammy. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if you want. Stir for about five minutes, add the citrus. Stir for another five-ten minutes, depending upon how thick you want the jam. Stir in the vanilla and decant to a bowl. Store unused jam in the fridge.