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It’s 1953 and there’s talk of murder in the quaint little Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester. And who better to solve a murder mystery than a troubled young clergyman played by James Norton?
The young priest Sidney Chambers is described in James Runcie’s novel as “prone to dreaming, hopeless at cooking, vague, untidy.” Poor Sidney is troubled by affairs of the heart – the series opens with Amanda and Sidney playing on a swing by the river and accidentally falling in.
If she didn’t have to rush back to London afterwards the couple could have dried out at The Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester. Here they might have sat outside in the sunshine amidst the apple trees and enjoyed this apple and jasmine jam, perhaps spread on homemade scones or served with a little natural yoghurt and a pot of tea.
In the jam, the small cubes of Grantchester apple are suspended in a golden jelly. Jasmine adds delicate floral notes, while the lemon stops this from being overpowering. An Autumnal delight made with local apples!
Grantchester apple and jasmine jam
Makes 3 x 500ml jars
15g dried jasmine flowers
1 litre boiling water
1.3kg apples (1kg when peeled and cored) – use apples that are likely to hold their shape when cooked
Zest & juice of 1 lemon (keep separately)
1kg granulated sugar
3 x 500ml jars
1. Pour the boiling water over the jasmine flowers, and leave to steep for 10 minutes.
2. Prepare a separate bowl of cold water, and add the lemon juice. Peel and core the apples and cut into 5mm dice. Place the cut apples into the lemon juice water as you go, to prevent them from discolouring.
3. When the apples are cut and the jasmine flowers have steeped for long enough, pour the jasmine water through a sieve into a saucepan and discard the flowers. Drain the apple pieces, and add them along with the sugar. Stir.
4. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, and simmer. Using a thermometer, check the temperature frequently. When the temperature of the mixture just reaches 104 °C (jam setting temperature), add the lemon zest.
5. To check whether the jam will set use the wrinkle test – place a few small plates in the freezer, and every 5 minutes dab a teaspoon of the liquid onto one of the plates. Leave for a few minutes, and then push your finger through the liquid. If it wrinkles the jam is ready.
6. Pour into sterilized jars. Using a jam funnel will make this much neater!