Friday, October 8, 2010

Quandong Jam....

This time of year spells the start of Quandong Season.... If you've never eaten a Quandong before they're a cherry sized fruit with a tart, almost bitter, flavour.... They grow wild in the bush out in these parts and I'm lucky enough to have 2 huge trees on 'Darling Downs' Station, and 1 of these is full to the brim with fruit at the moment.....
Here's how I turn these little bite sized treasures into some yum-o jam....
First you need to wash your fruit and then start removing the seed.....
To remove the seed, grab a sharp knife and slice through the flesh like so.... Now squeeze the back of the Quandong and you'll see the seed starting to pop out..... Squeeze a little harder and that baby will pop right on out..... And there you have it a seeded quandong ready for jam making... The beauty about this fruit is that is breaks down really well when cooking so there's no need to chop it up before you start which saves a hell of a lot of time..... Another great thing is that it freeze really well. So if you're short on time when you get all of your fruit seeded just pop them in the freezer until you have the 4 hours spare to make your jam. On to the jam making....
Once you've seeded a full bucket of Quandong's, add them to a large heavy based pot with 5 cups of water and about 1kg of sugar (I like to add a little less than this so that my jam starts rather tart). Bring your mixture to the boil, with the lid on.
Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, with the lid off, for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, stirring often and making sure your gooey mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot.

After 3 hours of simmering I like to test the 'set' of the jam. To do this place a small plate in the freezer for approx 5 mins, once it's chilled add a teaspoon of your mixture to the plate and return it to the freezer for a couple of minutes.

Your jam is ready if when you push your pointer finger into the cooled mixture it wrinkles. If you find it hard to understand what I mean in this step I am more than happy to do a picture tutorial on this stage of the jam making process, just let me know in the comments...

If your mixture doesn't wrinkle keep simmering, checking the setting point every 15 mins. Once your jam is ready and has reached 'setting' point, pour it into hot sterilized jars and seal.... A bucket full of Quandongs (about 4kg) makes me 30 x 250ml jars of jam....

Remember all of those seeds that you removed from your fruit, well don't through them away.... They come in handy for loads of fun crafty things like crochet covered jewelery not to mention how awesome they are for playing marbles, my kids just love them!!!

18 comments:

  1. Oh I love quandong seeds - when I lived out bush I was always on the look out for them I have on ly a few left around the place now - I wonder if a tree would grow here?

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  2. How wonderful Jodie! They do look a little like cherries which we love in our house. Thanks for the jam making recipe too, does it work the same for other fruits.

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  3. I have never tasted one, but they do look yummy. I'll keep a look out for them at the market.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog, it's nice to know I'm not alone in the flab fight. He..he..he

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  4. I feel like bread and jam now. Looking forward to November to go berry picking to make some jams. Charmaine

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  5. Wow Jodie, that look like great little fruits. I've never seen them before. You give us an education every day. LOL! Save me a jar !!!

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  6. Great demo... looks neat! By the by... could you maybe drill thru the seed and make necklaces? They look like beads to me! Maybe painted? You clever girl you... way to recycle and use what you have!

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  7. Oh my, I have never heard of this fruit! I learn so many wonderful things from my blog friends!

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  8. Are your quandongs related to our rainforest ones?? Ours are purple and loved by Cassowarys :-)

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  9. OMG I love these precious little gems all jammed up into a sticky goo, then popped into a tart! YUM! I will have to come see you soon...
    Sarah

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  10. I've always wondered about those little buggers!

    Great tute.

    Happy Days, xx

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  11. Just saw the fingerless gloves over at Knittalotte which sent me to your wonderful blog which I will now be a faithful follower. Would love to have the pattern for the gloves. My email address is vickiecar@gmail.com. Thank you so much and look forward to future postings from you!!!

    Vickie in Seattle

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  12. How intriguing! I have never heard of quandong, but I'd love to try that jam! Great pics and those stones are amazing. You've taught me something new today. :D

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  13. I can't believe I live in Sydney and I've never seen a quandong...must be you farm folk keeping them all to yourselves!

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  14. thanks for that lesson in quandongs...i have heard of them but that is it so thanks...loved popping in

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  15. Hello, I have found what I think are Quandong teas but I was wondering if anyone knew how to tell between the normal Quandong and the bitter variety as here you describe the normal Quandong as having an almost bitter taste as well.
    The ones I've found appear to be a darker red than yours and also the flesh inside is more yellow in colour.

    Any help or advise appreciated.

    Cheers

    David

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  16. Hey Jodie - I really like your blog. It's the first I've ever read. Was searching the internet for info on blue quondongs - found dozens of them washed in flood water on a friend's property. Gorgeous blue berries with bright red leaves. Your recipe and demo popped up in google. Wrong quondong species, but what a find - love your delightful blog.

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  17. crazy about quandong jam
    unfortuanately not available
    in U.K.
    hope for more on next OZ visit
    at the Qandong cafe /Quorthanks for the jam recipe
    david /lichfield,staffs.england

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  18. Thanks for your recipe. My Granddaughter and I are about to make some jam as a friend gave me a container of dried quandongs - which I just love! I am sure they have some kind of addictive chemical because I adore the tart flavour and savour it whenever there are quandongs available. I have planted a few trees but only one survived and has attached itself to a gum tree and going strong. Hopefully it will fruit next year. Qandong and passionfruit sauce is delicious if you only have a few quandongs, good for steamed pudding base, icecream topping etc.,

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Thanks for stopping by my Blog and for taking the time to leave me a comment, I truly enjoy reading and replying to each and every one.

Thanks again - Jodie :)