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Blueberry Jam

Summer is halfway over and the days are getting shorter. It's now or never to make your summer fruit jams to last you through the coming autumn and winter, before all you can get are sour, import fruits, picked early to survive a long journey halfway around the world to get to you.

Right now we are on the tail end of blueberry season, so get jamming, and why not put some of your new blueberry jam to use in a classic french Gâteau Breton?

Here are the recipes:

Blueberry Jam:

1Kg Blueberries

800g Sugar

150ml Water

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Pinches of salt

Place a plate in the fridge.

Add all of the ingredients into a large pot a cook on medium high heat, skimming any froth that accumulates on the surface. During the cooking time, stir the jam to make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom. Once the jam reaches 106 degrees celsius, about 223 degrees fahrenheit, pour a small amount onto the chilled plate to test the consistency. When the consistency is correct, that of jam, ladle the jam into jars and seal with lids. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water that covers the jars by at least 1 inch of water. Remove the jars carefully and allow them to cool. Enjoy into the winter months.

Gâteau Breton:

225g Unsalted butter at room temp

180g Sugar

5 Egg yolks

1/2t Salt

1t Vanilla

15ml Cognac

240g Flour

Zest of 1 lemon

Egg wash:

1 Egg yolk

1T water

Preheat your oven to 175C, or about 350F. Butter a 9" cake pan and set aside.

Using the paddle attachment on the stand mixer, beat the room temperature butter until light and fluffy, two to three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the mixer and add the sugar, beat an additional minute.

While the mixer is still running, incorporate the yolks one at a time, followed by the salt, vanilla, cognac, flour, and lemon zest. Once everything is just incorporated, stop the mixer. Divide the batter into two equal portions and evenly spread one half on the bottom of the buttered cake pan. Spoon in a layer of jam, leaving a small rim unjammed. Place this in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to chill. Remove from freezer once chilled.

Put the remaining batter into a piping bag and pipe the batter into the pan in an even layer. Smooth with an offset spatula.

Make the egg wash by mixing the yolk and water together. Brush a layer of egg wash over the batter and using the tines of a fork, scrape across the batter to make a design. Place the cake pan into the oven and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 40-50, making sure to turn the pan once halfway through the bakikng time.

Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool before slicing and serving. This is great with coffee or tea.

Perfect song: Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill