This weekend I will make my second blackberry jam batch of the season. My jars of delicious jam from last month have either been eaten by ourselves spread on freshly baked scones or given away to friends and family.
Like many of the domestic arts today, home-made jams appear to be enjoying a resurgence, part of a wider trend for domestic nostalgia. I was reading in today’s Times that the UK supermarket, Waitrose reports a boom in sales of preserving accoutrements, plums (up 140 per cent) and preserving sugar (181 per cent). Moreover, the most commonly downloaded recipe on its website is for jam — crab apple, to be specific. There’s a fine line between old-fashioned and retro-chic, and jam-making appears to have crossed it.
At Lakeland, the popular home wares catalogue, sales of preserving equipment have taken off hugely. This year alone the company has sold more than half a million jam jars and over 300,000 lids (an increase of nearly 40 per cent compared with last year). Overall, preserving is proving to be such a growth area that Lakeland recently reintroduced the old-fashioned Kilner jars to its range. Last year, when it launched an electric jam-maker, it sold out immediately, resulting in a four-week waiting list.
Making home-made jam is extremely satisfying – particularly the joy of surveying a completed batch on the shelf and as the days shorten and we move closer to winter, there is the added pleasure in remembering some of those sunny days on which I enjoyed picking the juicy ripe berries on my walks.