There was enough ripe firm fruit on the Lilli Pilli trees to harvest and start jam making. So with my ice cream container in hand I headed two doors up to collect the fruit. These berries are only small the biggest being about 1/2" in size.
They have a sharp taste with a hint of cinnamon. So after washing, removing stems and other debris I had 2kg (about 4lb) of berries for the pot. I soaked them in water for a couple of hours to soften the skins and that wonderful smell started to fill the kitchen.
I'm not sure that Native Fruits have a high pectin level so I added three Granny Smith apples chopped roughly.
I put these, with water up to about half the height of the fruit, to boil. After about 45 Min's the fruit was soft and the liquid a deep red colour. Next I drained the liquid and squashed the pulp through a sieve. Not all the pulp just what would squash with the back of a spoon. I returned this to the pot with one cup of sugar for every cup of the pulp/liquid.
From here I was flying blind. I have never made this jam before so I wasn't sure if it would set and I didn't want to over cook it either. I removed quite a bit of scum from the mixture which was really just some of the pulp. I could have left it there but wanted a clearish jam. I did a cold plate test after about 35 minutes and decided to add a tablespoon of jam-set to be on the safe side.
Cold Plate Test: Put 2 or 3 saucers in the freezer. Test the mixture for set by placing a teaspoon on the cold plate. Leave 30 secs. Test by pushing the liquid with you finger, if the surface crinkles the jam will set. If not add some jam-set and boil for another 5 Min's.
I really should have used small jars and I could have used this for Xmas gifts but I only had these large ones. I sterilized them first and then heated them in the oven.
The mixture is couldy by is still a jelly.
There are still tons of fruit on the trees so I think I will try for a clear jelly next time and I have to find a stock of small jars to use as presents. I will also make a cordial that I will freeze into ice blocks to be added to the champagne at Xmas.
And the possums? Well there is so much fruit I think we can share.