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Four Berries Jam 0

Posted on June 06, 2013 by Sahar

Summer is my favorite time of the year for fruit.  Plums, peaches, cherries, nectarines, and, my favorite, berries.  All of them.

Berries are one fruit that are now available all year ’round.  However, I tend to eat them only seasonally.  The fruit sold in the winter not only has little taste but is generally shipped from South America; a very heavy carbon footprint.

Of course, one age-old way to hold on to that summer flavor is to make preserves.  So, that’s what I did.

 

Now, on to the recipe

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A couple of notes:

1.  You can use any combination of berries you like in this recipe.  Just make sure you have 9 cups total.  I used the four most commonly seen in the grocery, but if you find/have gooseberries, boysenberries, etc., you can use those as well.

2.  Always buy extra.  This is to take into account bad berries, trimming, and any that you eat along the way.

3.  Check the date on the pectin.  You want to be sure it’s good.  If it’s out of date, buy new.

4.  To get a full explanation of the hows and whys of canning, please read my post from August 10, 2012, “Classic Strawberry Jam”.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries.

Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries.

 

9 cups total fresh berries, trimmed, picked through, and washed  (For this recipe I used 3 c. strawberries, 2 c. blackberries, 2 c. blueberries, 2 c. raspberries)

6 tbsp. powdered pectin

1/4 c. lemon juice

6 c. sugar

 

1.  Wash the jars, lids, and rims in hot soapy water.  Place the jars in a large stockpot of boiling water to sterilize them.  Leave them in the boiling water, topping it off as needed (you need at least 1″ water above the tops of the jars).  Place the lids into a small saucepan.  Bring the water just to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let the water simmer.  The rims don’t need to be sterilized.

2.  In a large saucepan, take the berries, 1/4 at a time and crush them with a potato masher.  It’s OK if there are some large pieces.  You don’t need to mash the berries smooth.

Crushing the berries.

Crushing the berries.

3.  Add the lemon juice and the pectin.  Stir until the pectin has dissolved.

Adding the pactin and lemon.

Adding the pectin and lemon.

 

The crshed berries, pectin, and lemon mixed together.  And, we're ready to go.

The crushed berries, pectin, and lemon mixed together. And, we’re ready to go.

4.  Place the saucepan over medium heat and, stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a rolling boil.  (You want it to come back to a boil immediately after stirring.)

A rolling boil.

A rolling boil.

5.  Add the sugar and stir until it’s dissolved.

Adding the sugar.

Adding the sugar.

The sugar dissolved and the jam beginning to take shape.

The sugar dissolved and the jam beginning to take shape.

Continue stirring frequently until the mixture again comes to a rolling boil.  Boil for 1 minute.

Another rolling boil.

Another rolling boil.

6.  Remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully skim the foam from the top of the jam.

Skimming the foam from the jam.

Skimming the foam from the jam.

7.  Take the jars from the boiling water and drain.  Carefully ladle the jam into the jars, leaving 1/4″ of head space in the jar (use a jar gauge to make sure you’re at the right level).

Ladleing the jam into the jars. Use a wide-mouth funnel.

Ladling the jam into the jars. Use a wide-mouth funnel. It certainly reduces mess.

Measuring the headspace in the jar.

Measuring the head space in the jar.

Clean the jar rims with a damp towel.

Cleaning the jar rims. If the rims have any food on them, the jars won't seal properly.

Cleaning the jar rims. If the rims have any food on them, the jars won’t seal properly.

8.  Place the lids and rims (tighten them only finger tight) on the jars and place them back into the hot water.  Bring the water up to the boil and process the jars for 10 minutes.

9.  The jars can take up to 24 hours to seal.  However, it usually doesn’t take that long.  You’ll know the jars are sealed when the lid becomes concave.  You’ll also hear something like a “ping” when the jar begins to seal.  Once the jar is sealed, you can tighten the rim.

Ideally, let the jars sit for about 24 hours before moving them.  But, as long as you let them sit until they are cool, you should be fine.

If the jar doesn’t seal, put it in the fridge and eat the jam within 2 – 3 weeks.  You can also remove the contents from the jar, wash it and the rim, discard the lid, re-sterilize everything, fill the jar again and process.  It’s up to you.

Be sure to label and date the jars.

The finished jam in sealed jars.

The finished jam in sealed jars.

 

Enjoy!

 

Sweet Cherry Jam (with frozen cherries) 2

Posted on December 17, 2012 by Sahar

Yes. Yes. I know. It’s past cherry season.

By the way, in case you didn’t know when peak season is, it’s summer.

However, if I don’t have any cherry jam left from the summer, or, in this case, I wanted to send some to a few select people for the holidays, I will use frozen cherries. Because, well, they’re available. And, why not?

There are certain frozen fruits that will work just as well as fresh when making jams, preserves, and butters.  Peaches, mangos, cherries, and raspberries are a few that spring to mind.

Of course, fresh, ripe, in-season fruits are always best.

But, I wanted to show in this recipe that frozen fruit is an excellent substitute and you can make wonderful jam any time of year.

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Now, to the recipe.

Note:  If you need a full tutorial on the how’s and why’s of making sweet preserves (jam, jelly, etc.), please read my August 10, 2012, post “Classic Strawberry Jam”.

The ingredients

Clockwise from top: Pectin, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest.

 

 

3 lbs. ripe sweet dark cherries, pitted

-or-

3 lbs. frozen sweet dark cherries, thawed, juices reserved

1 ea. 1.75 oz. package “classic” powdered pectin (6 tbsp.) – do not use gel pectin

1 tsp. lemon zest

1/4 c. lemon juice

5 c. sugar

 

1.  If you’re using fresh cherries, stem, pit and, if you like, roughly chop them.  If you’re using frozen cherries, pour them into a large colander and set it in a large bowl.  Allow the cherries to thaw and let the juices drip into the bowl.  Reserve the juices.

2.  In a large saucepan, combine the cherries, the reserved juice (if any), pectin, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Cherries, cherry juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, and pectin ready to be mixed and cooked.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Cooking the cherries. The mixture will begin to thicken as it heats up.

3.  Add the sugar, stirring constantly until it’s dissolved.

Mixing in the sugar.

4.  Turn the heat down to medium low and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.  Again, be sure to stir frequently.

Cooking the jam after the sugar is dissolved.

Once it’s come to a rolling boil, boil the jam for 1 minute.

Boiling cherry jam.

5.  Remove the saucepan from the heat.  If there is any foam on top, take a spoon and skim off as much as possible. (Be careful. The jam is very hot at this point.)

The finished jam.

6.  Pour the jam into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.

Ladling the jam into the jars.

Measuring the headspace in the jar.

Clean the jar rims, seal, and process for 5 minutes. (Begin timing after the water has come back to a boil.)

Cleaning the jar rims with a damp towel. If you don’t do this, the jars won’t seal properly.

7.  Once the jars have processed for 5 minutes, turn off the heat under the canner (or very large stockpot), carefully take the jars out of the boiling water, and place them on racks to cool.  The jars will seal as they cool. (You’ll hear a “ping” or a “pop” noise as the jars begin to seal. This could take up to 24 hours.)

If the jars seal, the jam will keep approximately one year (recommended).  If not, refrigerate the jars and eat the jam within 2 – 3 weeks.

Yummy, yummy cherry jam.

 

Makes approximately 8 half-pints/16 4-oz jars

 



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