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Scrumptious jam making

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness has a very evocative calling. Autumn is for jam making and the time to squirrel away nature's bounty for the winter. As branches bow under the weight of crab apples, damsons and plums, we have jam pans at the ready for a quick conversion into conserves. Summer has already given us beautiful British berries - strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries - and we can carry on savouring the sensational colours and rich fruit flavours all year round, thanks to jam, jellies and preserves. There are few more enjoyable kitchen tasks than whipping up a batch of jam or marmalade. Keep it in the family or pass on as a present to someone who deserves such a home-made treat. Jam making is easier than you might think. All you need is a heavy pan, thermometer and of course, the all important jam jars! Collect berries in the dry as they ripen for a good balance of pectin and sugars and don't forget to seal in the goodness to preserve your preserves.