Saturday, 21 April 2012

CWA Damper with Clear Apple Jam

Why hello!

It's a hard life, isn't it? Popping over to New Caledonia pour ameliorer ma francais pendant une semaine, coming back to find that your dear mother has bought you an AMAZING PRESENT - the County Women's Association Cookbook (eeeek!), and proceeding to bake... and bake... and bake.

Ah, what a life I lead - oh wait, school goes back tomorrow. Waah! Too much of a good thing, right?

Seeing as my AMAZING mum bought me the CWA cookbook (of biblical standards in the world of Australian baking), and seeing as it's ANZAC day on Wednesday, I thought I would make something simple, and quintessentially Australian - damper. Damper is so easy to make, filling, and goes with a lot of things - this is why it has remained a traditional Australian food for the past 200 or so years. I can just imagine my Nan making it for her 5 kids while Pop was away at war. 

To accompany this glorious bread, I decided to make an Apple "Jelly", or "Clear Apple Jam". We had heaps of apples, and I adore making homemade jams, so I figured, what they hey? I didn't have a muslin cloth to strain the juice through, so it's just a teensy bit cloudy, but I call that 'rustic'. There's a word for everything, you know! So if you do have a muslin cloth, feel free to strain it so the jam is crystal clear!

The flavour of the jam is so fresh. I love bits of fruit in jam, but I really don't think this one needs it. It has enough self-confidence to get by on its own! It complements the damper perfectly - soft, dense bread with the not-too-sweet jam spread on top - perfect for breakfast, lunch or tea!

To tell you the truth, I could just eat the jam on its own! But for the sake of common courtesy, try to refrain from doing so!

CWA Damper with Clear Apple Jam
Makes one large loaf/ 1 1/2 cups of jam

{Recipes from CWA Cookbook "Jam Drops and Marble Cake", and David Lebovitz' Apple Jelly}

450g self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
310ml milk
1 kilo red apples
3 cups water
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice


We'll do the jam first, because it takes longer.

Peel apples, chop into large chunks, and put into a large, deep saucepan, cores and seeds included. Add the water, cover and bring to the boil. Once bubbling violently, reduce heat to a simmer, leave the lid askew, and let cook for 30 minutes, until apples are soft and cooked through.

Using a fine colander/sieve (with or without a muslin cloth on top) set over a deep, large bowl, sit the apples and liquid over it so that the liquid drips through. Leave for minimum 3 hours WITHOUT PRESSING DOWN ON THE APPLES.

Measure out the juice after the time. I had about one cup, but you might have more if you leave it overnight. Pour into a saucepan, add sugar and lemon juice, and bring to the boil.

Chill a plate in the freezer for 5 minutes. Once you've been boiling the mixture for about 5 minutes, turn the heat off. Now the testing begins. Drop a dab of the jam onto the chilled plate, and place back in the freezer for about 5 minutes. If the jam shrinks and is firm to touch, rather than a liquid, your jam is ready! Pour into a sterilised jar and refrigerate.


Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and mix with a butter knife to a dough, not too sticky and with no flour remaining.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead to a smooth round. Place on the baking tray, and cut a cross in the top of the dough. Bake for 30 minutes on the bottom shelf of the oven.

Spread warm damper with jam!

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