I've made two batches of jam - strawberry and Muddleberry (strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb) and for the first time, used proper jam sugar with the latter. I wasn't terribly impressed with the results - it tasted very sharp but in an artificially acidic way rather than pleasant tartness, whereas although I had to boil the straight strawberry for ages, the jam is mild and sweet and fragrant. I did use the Muddleberry for making a simple ice-cream - 500ml each of thick sweet custard (Bird's!), full fat natural yogurt and jam. I have a small freezer which isn't butch enough to use an ice-cream maker so I had to take it out an whisk/beat it a few times and it's still a bit sorbet-ish and crystalline but it's very good considering the simplicity.
I've not done much baking recently as a) the kitchen and lounge are too messy to contemplate it and b) there seems to be too much to do outside, but I'm hoping to be inspired by this recent purchase:
This book has been in my Amazon basket for a while but I then found it in a charity shop for £1.99! I get so bored of cooking especially when I see so many other things that need doing so it becomes a chore to be slotted in among myriad other demands but I'm looking forward to sitting down with a cuppa and reading through - it's had very good reviews. I've also ordered a cloche from Bakery Bits as my oven isn't terribly reliable and this particular piece of kit should iron out any fluctuations in temperature and help the bread cook evenly. Some of the recipes I want to try are Rolled oat and apple bread and Red wine loaf with pine nuts and figs.