Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jam Season

I love summer! All the fresh veggies from the garden and fresh fruits. Yum!!

Every year my mom and I make a couple batches of jam together. Usually we make a peach or apricot batch and a batch of strawberry. This year, I got my own canner ($10 at a yard sale!) so I have been making some different flavors than usual.

I started out with blueberry jam. Mom and I went to a U-Pick farm and picked a total of 16 1/2 pounds of blueberries in less than an hour (that's right, we would have made great migrant workers).

Here is the NO-SUGAR Recipe I used for blueberry jam

Aproximately 3 1/2 pounds of blueberries (mashed to make 7 cups of fruit)
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 Tablespoons No Sugar/Low Sugar Pectin
3 cups 100% fruit juice (I used Very Cherre Tart Cherry Blueberry)

Mash the blueberries in a large pan (I used a 6 quart one), mix in the lemon juice and pectin and stir til it boils over medium heat.
*While it is heating, get your jars (my batch made about 9 cups of jam), lids and rings ready. Jars should be clean and dry. Lids and rings must be boiled in separate pans to sanitize them. Also, fill your canner half full of water and get it heating up too.
~Add 3 cups of fruit juice and stir again until a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute (stiring constantly) and then remove from heat. Skim off any foam that has formed on top (using a metal spoon) and set aside to eat later.
~Pour jam into jars one or two at a time. Use a towel to wipe the rims of the jars clean (in case you dripped any jam on them), then place the lid on top and screw a ring on tightly. Place the jars into the canner as soon as they have a ring screwed on.
~One you have filled all your jars, fill the canner full of water til it is 2 inches above the top of the tallest jar (or as full as you can). Bring the water in the canner to a boil, boil it for 10 minutes, and then carefully remove the jars to a towel on the counter. Let them cool 12-24 hours so they can seal good. If any don't seal, just toss them in the fridge and eat them first.

Xander wasn't too sure about the taste

Gabriella gobbled hers down on some freshly made GF bread!

Next was NO SUGAR Raspberry Jam
This jam is prepared and cooked the same way as the blueberry jam is. 

6 1/2 cups crushed raspberries (half a flat before mashing)
3 cups 100% Juice (I used Old Orchard Apple Raspberry)

Here is the way that I have everything getting heated up at the same time. Rings and lids go in small sauce pans. Canner and jam go on the bigger burners.

It made about 9 cups of jam

The raspberry jam turned out on the runnier side and  is pretty tart (which raspberries are generally). But it was still amazing!

We ate some that same night served over some GF Blintzes I whipped up with Matt's sister and her daughter.

Strawberry Kiwi NO SUGAR Jam

This jam is also cooked and canned the same way the blueberry is. 

3 cups peeled and mashed kiwis (about 12)
3 1/2 cups mashed strawberries
3 cups 100% Juice (I used Old Orchard Apple Kiwi Strawberry)

The strawberry kiwi I think is my favorite so far. It has a sweet start to it and then a tart aftertaste. But both flavors of strawberry and kiwi ring through. So delicious!

Here is our dish of foam we skimmed off the strawberry kiwi jam and the little bit of extra that was left after all the jars were filled. 

We've been sneaking it straight out of the bowl!

Jam making is super fun and super easy to do. Making sure you have everything ready and set up before the jam boils is the most important thing. 

Usually I make the jam at my mom's house (since I didn't have a canner) so she always helped me by putting the lids and rings on the jars while I filled them so we got them in the hot water bath faster. But I did it by myself and it was just fine. 

I love how well the No Sugar pectin works and how now we have 100% fruit jam for less than $1 per jar. Score! 

If you come up with any good homemade jam recipes or have any questions about making your own jam, let me know!!

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