* Prices may differ from that shown
A bit about the producer
Silver Spoon is the only sugar home-grown and packaged in Britain. It is the retail brand name for British Sugar which has four processing places in the East of England and East Midlands. I was lucky enough to visit the Cantley processing plant near Norwich this year. It's quite an operation producing virtually no waste. Not only does it produce all its own electricity needs from a combined heat and power plant, it sells the excess to the National Grid. It also supplies Cornerways nursery which is just down the road from the sugar process plant and is the UK's largest single tomato glasshouse. It's huge covering an area of 18 hectares and producing around 140 million tomatoes annually. CO2 from the sugar processing plant is piped over to the glasshouse and is used to double the yield. If you see a Norfolk grown tomato, the chances are that is comes from the British Sugar nursery. The by-products from the processing of the beet are all used too, for example in animal feed. Even the stones that come in with the beet are recovered and used in road building and construction.
Around 3,600 sugar beet farmers work with British Sugar every year. The sugar used in the Silver Spoon jam sugar is farmed around Bury St. Edmunds. The Bury plant produces most of the Silver Spoon granulated, caster, icing and speciality sugars we see in the supermarket.
As you would expect, jam sugar has just the right amount of natural pectin to ensure that jam sets. Some fruit is naturally high in pectin in which case you are advised to use Preserving Sugar. Low pectin fruits are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apricots, blueberries, cherries, pears, peaches, rhubarb and loganberries.
The sugar comes in 1kg bags and the ingredients are listed as:
Sugar, Apple Pectin, Citric acid and Glycerol
It costs £1.99 per bag.
How to use
The pack has two very easy recipes - one for making jam on the hob, and one in a microwave. Both are incredibly simple - none of this juggling with thermometers, jam straining bags and other complicated malarkey.
The hob method for making strawberry jam is:
1. Hull 800g strawberries and crush them with a potato masher until they are pulpy in a large saucepan.
2. Add 1kg jam sugar to the pan.
3. Heat gently and stir continuously until the sugar melts. Add a knob of butter. It is really important not to let the mixture boil at this stage.
4. When the sugar has melt, slowly bring to boiling point and boil for 4 minutes.
And that's it. The jam is then ready to pour into jars.
Does it work?
Okay so I need to 'fess up. I cheat even more by wacking the whole lot into my bread maker which has a jam making cycle. The cycle takes 1hr 20 mins and the bread maker combined with the jam sugar has never let me down.
I've just made two batches of plum jam as my mother's Victoria plum tree was simply laden with plums. We'd never seen so many plums on what is actually quite a small tree - so nice and easy to pick all the plums without resorting to a ladder! Plums generally are supposed to be high in pectin but being sweet, I think the victoria variety is relatively low in pectin. In any case I risked the jam sugar (as opposed to preserving) and the jam has set beautifully. I used the same quantities - 800k of fruit to a kilo of the sugar which yielded 4 jars of plum jam. Delicious!
Silver Spoon Jam Sugar promises to set soft fruit jams and jellies every time. In my experience that's exactly what it does and for that reason it gets 5 out of 5.
Review of Silver Spoon Jam Sugar with Added Pectin
As the product title suggests, this review is about a sugar especially designed for making jams, jellies and other preserves at home.
The sugar is made by the Silver Spoon company. In 1972, Silver Spoon was established as the retail brand of the British Sugar Corporation on a regional basis. In 1999, Silver Spoon became an organic supplier of sugar. The company pride themselves on only using British grown sugar.
Silver Spoon Jam sugar is a white, granular sugar with added pectin. Pectin is the 'magic' ingredient that makes a home made preserves 'set'. Many fruits are high in pectin naturally, so jam making with them is easier, the fruit will gel with no added assistance. Silver Spoon Jam Sugar comes into it's own when using low pectin fruits such as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
The sugar is presented in a recyclable paper sack shaped bag, very similar to the ordinary granulated and caster sugars that are more commonly used. The sugar is sold in 1 kg quantities.
The bag is as picture provided here shows, a deep red/maroon colour, with green dragonfly type images around a blue and white spoon shaped logo. The information and details are found on the sides and reverse of the packet. There is usually a recipe printed on the reverse of the bag, the one I have in front of me is for Seville Marmalade.
Silver Spoon Jam sugar is quick to dissolve and it generally takes around 4 minutes of rapid boiling to get your jam to set, dependent of course on your recipe and the ingredients used.
In the autumn, British hedgerows are full of beautiful, lush blackberries. These are one of my favourite fruits and best of all, free! I do not make as much jam nowadays, as I did when my family were small. In those days I used to produce pots and pots of preserves of all kinds. Nowadays I generally only make blackberry or apple jelly and the odd pot of other jam if I'm given the fruit.
Blackberry jelly is a gorgeously rich, red preserve which my family all love. We use it on toast, crumpets and as a sponge cake filling, my other half enjoys a spoonful of blackberry jelly with his roast lamb....no accounting for taste!!
**Nutritional Values and Ingredients**
Sugar is never going to be a healthy option, but all things in moderation is my motto! For those who like to know such details, here goes:-
This sugar contains 398 calories per 100g and 0.3g Fat.
Silver Spoon Jam Sugar contains Sugar, Apple Pectin, Citric Acid and Glycerol.
**Availability and Price**
Silver Spoon Jam Sugar is available in most major supermarkets. Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda are all currently stocking it at £1.57 for 100g.
Further information regarding Silver Spoon products, recipes, hints and tips can be found on their website:-
**Conclusion and my Blackberry Jelly Recipe**
This is a very good quality product which is designed for a specific task and never lets me down. I have been buying this sugar for many years and have always had good results when using it. There's not really much more I can tell you about the sugar, after all, sugar is sugar, so instead of trying to describe it's taste, texture etc.,here is my favourite Blackberry Jelly recipe. It is easy and virtually foolproof, even if you've never tried your hand at home-made preserves, why not give this a try? I assure you it is delicious
and if blackberries are out of season, you can adapt the recipe by sustituting apples.
Brittle's Blackberry Jelly
2lb of blackberries
1 cooking apple, washed, cored and sliced, no need to peel!
Approximately 300ml (1/2 pint) water
jelly bag (clean muslin or an old tea towel, if no jelly bag available)
sterilized jam jars and circles of greaseproof paper
1.Sort through your blackberries, removing any that are past their best or under ripe. Rinse them thoroughly in cold water.
2.Place the blackberries, apple and water in your pan, bring to the boil, then simmer until the fruit is really soft (about 20-25 minutes).
3.Meanwhile in another pan sterilise your jelly bag or cloth, by boiling it in water for around 3 minutes. Once it has cooled enough to handle, wring it out and lay it over your large bowl.
4.Tip the softened fruit into the jelly bag then take up the corners of the bag and tie them to encase the fruit inside.
5.Hang your jelly bag on a stand or from an upturned stool with the bowl below. Let the juices drip for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight or until all the juices have seeped through. Do not squeeze the bag as this will make your jelly cloudy.
6.Next day, prepare your jars and lids by washing in warm soapy water then leave them to dry in a warm oven for 10-15 minutes.
7.Measure the juice back into your pan and add 450g/1lb of sugar for every 600ml/1pint of juice you have.
8.Heat slowly until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer until the setting point has been reached . You can check to see if it's ready by dropping a little jelly on a saucer and placing in the fridge, leave it until it is cool then run your finger over the top, if a skin has been formed it is ready! If not keep retesting until it is.
9.Skim any foamy scum from the top of your jelly and discard it.
10.Carefully ladle the jelly into your jam jars, place a circle of greaseproof paper over the top, allow to cool, then cover and seal tightly.
11.Label your jars and store in them in a dark place.
Thank you for reading.
©brittle1906 November 2012
N.B. My review may appear on other sites under the same user name.
*** Harvest time ***
Well, it's that time of year again, when we feel the need to preserve the fruits of our labour, to make them last throughout the long, dark winter months. That's how it was in 'the olden days', but nowadays with people needing to save money, and preferring to know what actually goes into their food, jam making and preserving is becoming fashionable again.
This is where Silver Spoon Jam Sugar with added pectin enters the frame. I've been foraging among the brambles this morning, with my eight year old daughter, we had enough blackberries to make apple and blackberry pies, and crumbles and also a batch of Jam. What could be better than it being homemade and fresh as a daisy?
Top tip when picking fruit, make sure you are 100% sure that it's edible, if in doubt leave it out, and also don't pick fruit from the front of bush, and never under waist high, just in case an animal has happened to do their toilet there.
*** Silver Spoon Jam Sugar ***
Jam sugar is suitable for vegetarians, and the typical nutritional values per 100g are - Energy 398kcal, Protein 0.2g, Carbohydrates 98.6g and 0.3g fat. The contents are - Sugar, Apple Pectin, Citric Acid and Glycerol. Purchased today, my package of sugar weighs 1kg and has a shelf life of 18 months. It doesn't cost too much more than granulated sugar either, at £1.64 at Tesco's at the moment.
*** Instructions for use ***
Now that's the boring stuff out of the way. :) On the reverse of the packet some information tells us that this is perfect for making jams and jellies with fruits that are low in pectin. These fruits are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, pears, and peaches. Pectin ensures that jam sets quickly, retaining its fresh fruity flavours and natural colourings.
On the other hand if you have such fruit as blackcurrants, plums, oranges, gooseberries, greengages and damsons, which have high pectin levels, you need a different product - Silver Spoon Preserving Sugar.
Thankfully, like I say, I picked up the correct pack, and so I went on to make my blackberry jam. This is easy as there are a couple of recipes on the packet. One is for Summer Strawberry Jam, which is made and prepared on the hob, and the other is a microwave version made in only twenty minutes. Both of these recipes have the same yield at 1.5kg of jam, or approximately 6 small jars.
Substituting the strawberries in the recipe for blackberries, lead to no alteration in the results; the pots have set well, and retain all the colour and taste of freshly picked fruit.
*** My thoughts ***
I have used this product on numerous occasions, and have never been let down once. I've just purchased a jam making and preserving book, and hope to make some of the more weird and wonderful concoctions listed, and I will most definitely be using this Jam sugar once again. This product takes all the stress and hassle of what could be a delicate procedure, measuring setting points and boiling times, and makes it simply a most enjoyable experience, and a pleasure to do.
Many thanks for reading my review.
This review may be posted on other sites under the same username