As if I don't already have tons to do everyday, I've been making the jam for the year ahead (I stopped buying jams 5 years ago) during quiet and nap times, since it's usually a 2 hour process. At least, I've got it down to that from a 5 hours it used to take me when I first started! This time of year is abundant, plums and apples are our faves, and nectarines and peaches are awesome too. I used to cringe at the amount of sugar most recipes call for, until I discovered POMONA'S pectin, a life saver!! You can use very little sugar and still have your jam or jelly set, and you can double or triple and adjust your recipe to how you like it. The jam doesn't set crystally (is that even a word?), it's more opaque, but it tastes heavenly fruity! I personally don't like jam that you have to break up in the jar to be able to spread it on toast, I prefer more of a fruit preserve that you can spoon onto toast or cracker or spoon over a scoop of vanilla icecream.
You can really see it is set soft and full of fruit!
Today's jamming adventure was a strawberry plum mix that tasted better than I imagined, and set beautifully with 12 cups of fruit and mere 3 cups of sugar.
The ingredients go as follows:
8 cups of fresh hulled and split strawberries
4 cups of chopped black plums
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons calcium water
3 cups of sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
3 teaspoons of Pomona's pectin
You'll need to sterilize jars, depending on the size, I generally prefer to use 500ml jars, so you need about 8 to 10. Follow the general cooked jam directions in the Pomona's package or look them up on their website. Now this is the type of jamming and canning I like.
The recipe is workable and doesn't have to be 100% exact. The processing of the jam filled jars though is more technical and you do need to make sure you process them long enough to kill any bacteria and to hinder anything from growing in the jar in storage (check elevation and process times accordingly). After a few tries, you sort of get really good at it.
This is my Jam shelf in the pantry, full of delicious goodness!
I have now made Strawberry Rhubarb (not my favourite), Spicy Blueberry (AWESOME), Black Plum (Super Delish!), Strawberry Plum (Amazing)....getting ready to make Blackberry Nectarine next, and maybe some Caramel Apple Butter too.
If you all have any questions or would like the recipes (all big batch recipes I'm afraid) just message me or comment and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great fall!