Book Review - 'Quick and Easy: One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave: Jam, Jelly, Chutney and Pickles'

by KathleenDuffy

Forget huge batches of produce bubbling on the stove. Sonia Allison's book demonstrates how small pots of classy preserves can easily be made in the microwave.

Sonia Allison has written a book about jam-making using the microwave that will be a godsend to those who don't want to spend hours making huge batches of jams or chutneys.

Not everyone has instant access to large quantities of seasonal fruits or vegetables. For the urban enthusiast with a small kitchen and only a window box for a garden, this book is a major breakthrough! For those who visit the supermarket to buy their fruit and veg this book will persuade you to try the more exotic choices.

This is also a book that could soon become addictive and lead to a new hobby!

Make Small Pots of Preserves in the Microwave

Want to create just a couple of jars of jam with the odd punnet of plums, apples, grapes or mangoes? Fancy using the last of your green tomatoes (from that window box) to make a delicious chutney? Are melons going cheap at your local supermarket? Or maybe you need to make a special, personal gift for someone and fancy creating some exotic jam, spiced cheese or flavoured olives.

Look no further.

Although the title implies the recipes make just one pot, in reality they make on average two or three 1 lb pots. As well as traditional, simple, straightforward recipes, the author has created recipes for the type of preserves that would cost a fortune in Harrods or Fortnum & Mason.

For instance, Strawberry and Mixed Current Jam with Melon and Gin, Apple and Red Tomato Chutney with Dried Peaches, Split Black Olives with Herbs and Orange, to name but a few.

This is a feature I find very useful - there is a handy recipe which uses frozen summer fruits from the supermarket freezer. This means you won't be dependent on fresh produce.

Advantages of Making Jam in the Microwave

There are a number of real advantages to jam-making using the microwave, rather than the traditional method.

  • Makes small amounts rather than huge batches;
  • Lets you take advantage of exotic fruits available at  supermarkets;
  • No large bubbling pan on the stove. Safety must still  be observed with microwave cooking, but the boiling liquid is less exposed  and cooking can be halted with the touch of a button;
  • Hardly any scum, if any, appears whilst cooking, unlike  the conventional method;
  • Microwave cooking retains the original bright colours and flavours of ingredients;
  • No storage space required, unlike traditional batch cooking;
  • Power costs are much lower than conventional cooking.

Cute Jam Making Jars to Order From Amazon

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Sample Recipe from 'One Pot of Jam From Your Microwave'

With the permission of the publishers, Foulsham, here is a recipe from the book for a typical 'luxury' jam. Use a microwave-proof bowl with a lid for cooking. It should NOT exceed 4 litres/7pts/16 cups in capacity. The book gives detailed instructions on equipment, utensils and safety.

Strawberry and Fresh Fig Jam

An unlikely sounding combination that actually works superbly.

Makes 1.5/3 lb/3 jars

Ingredients:

  • 450 g/1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 450 g/1 lb fleshy figs, hulled and coarsely chopped
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 kg/2¼ lb/4½cups jam sugar

Directions:

  1. Put the strawberries, figs and lemon juice in a 4 litre/7 pt/16 cup capacity bowl and add the boiling water. Cover and cook on High (750-800w) for 7 minutes, stirring once.
  2. Uncover, stir in the sugar and cook on High for 10  minutes until the sugar has dissolved, stirring twice with a wooden spoon.
  3. Reduce the power to Medium (550w) and continue to cook for 25-30 minutes until setting point is reached, stirring three or four  times.
  4. Allow to cool to lukewarm, then ladle into warmed jars, top with paper discs and leave until cold.
  5. Cover with lids or cellophane and label the jars.

Here's a Short Video (unrelated to the book) Showing How to Make Strawberry Jam in the Microwave

(Skip the Advert)

List of Contents for 'One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave '

Have a look at the variety of preserves you can make!

 

The following List of Contents shows the scope of preserves that can be created using the microwave.

  • Introduction
  • High-tech Luxury Preserves
  • Cooking Preserves in the Microwave
  • Preserves as Gifts
  • Notes on the Recipes
  • Jams
  • Marmalades
  • Jellies/Conserves
  • Mincemeats
  • Curds & Butters
  • Fruits in Alcohol
  • Chutneys
  • Salsas & Relishes
  • Pickles
  • Flavoured Vinegars
  • Flavoured Olives
  • Cheeses in Oil
  • A World of Tastes
  • Index.

Let's Liberate the Microwave

There's more to it than just heating up your coffee!

It’s time to stop merely using the microwave to heat up those ready meals!

I live in a small flat with a tiny kitchen,  and with this jam-making technique there is so much less mess and you don't need a massive surface area. So this book is a real favorite of mine.  

With Sonia Allison's groundbreaking book you can create brilliant, freshly made, unusual preserves that will unite technology and tradition with impressive results.  

 

Source:

One Pot of Jam from Your Microwave   by Sonia Allison (Fousham, 2005)

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Updated: 06/26/2013, KathleenDuffy
 
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KathleenDuffy on 06/19/2013

I agree kimbesa! I can cope with this - I have made large batches in my tiny kitchen though, but this seems more like creating little works of art. Both are great to do - but this is quite special! Thanks for your post.

kimbesa on 06/19/2013

I love the idea of making small batches. It's been years, but you can experiment with combinations, once you get the basics. If granny had had a microwave, I'm sure she'd have done the same!

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