jam!

August 18th, 2008

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This weekend I did something super exciting… I pulled out all the fruit I’ve been hoarding over the summer and made jam. And oh did I make jam. Lucky for me my friend Erin came over to join in the undertaking of turning apricots, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and cherries into five different kinds of jam.

A while ago I got super inspired by this article written by Molly Wizenberg in Bon Appetit. The recipe that goes along with the story sounded pretty basic, but still allowed for some experimentation. We went ahead and came up with some of our own fruit combinations, but stuck with her directions on canning since neither of us had done it before. Making the jam is pretty simple, you basically mix the fruit up, add a little sweetner (sugar or honey) and a little citrus and let it sit for a few hours. We ended up with Strawberry, Strawberry & Raspberry, Raspberry with cayenne pepper, Blueberry & Sweet Cherry and Apricot & Raspberry. Whew, that’s a lot of jam. While the fruit was hanging out, we started the sterilization process, which takes a lot of time. I didn’t buy any special equipment for this, I just used my stockpot that has a strainer insert and it worked pretty dang good. There are special canning pots and gadgets that you can pick up, but unless you’re planning on doing a lot of canning, I think my way works pretty well.

Once the cans were sterile, we put the fruit on the stovetop and brought it to a boil. That’s when things started getting good. Scent is one of my favorite aspects of cooking and it came out with a bang when the fruit started boiling. Oh the sweet, sweet smell of fresh strawberries, then came the raspberries and the blueberries… I mean is there anything better? It actually took quite a bit longer than the directions called for to get the fruit to a more jam-like place, but we just rolled with it. After we filled the jam jars, we sealed them by boiling them one last time.

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I tried out the strawberry jam Sunday morning and it just made me happy. You can just taste the freshness in it and it’s kind of perfect. There are many more jars to be opened, some of which will go to friends, but some will be saved for those cold winter months when thoughts of fresh fruit can be savored with a little piece of toast with some fresh jam spread over top.

All recipes follow the directions of this recipe for
Mixed Berry Jam

Below are my fruit variations:

Strawberry Jam
4.5 cups fresh strawberries
2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Strawberry-Raspberry Jam
2.5 cups Strawberries
2 cups Raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon sugar

Blueberry Cherry
4 cups Blueberries
2 cups Sweet Cherries
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoon honey
1 cup sugar

Spicy Raspberry
4 cups Raspberry
1 Tablespoon Cayenne (we actually used 2 and it was tooooo spicy, but taste to your liking)
2 Tablespoons orange juice

Apricot Raspberry
this one produced more jars due to the extra fruit
8 cups Apricots, cut into 1/4″ pieces
2 cups Raspberry
1 cup sugar
1 cup vanilla sugar (i’ll be posting this recipe later this week, but basically sugar flavored with a vanilla bean)
2 Tablespoons Lemon juice

Comments: 1 Total

  1. Cameron Gagliano

    August 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I havenˇ¦t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it friend :)

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