Friday, September 17, 2010

Recipe: August in a Jar

After a last minute cottage visit with lots of berry picking, we returned home and made some jam so we could enjoy the last days of summer all winter long.  Using my grandmother’s Joy of Cooking for guidance we developed “August in a jar”.

Some important notes: 
-This jam contains 60% fruit and 40% sugar. This is a rather low sugar ratio so we are storing the jars in the fridge just to be safe.

-Apples naturally contain high levels of pectin and can be used in place of the little packages.  They are also nice and acidic.

-Jam is not just for toast but delicious on waffles and ice cream.  It also makes a great thank you gift to the kind people who let you use their cottage and pick all their berries.

- Last but not least always, always, always follow safe canning practices: This link about making jam without added pectin and this one from are great resources and will help if you’re unsure.

2 cups blackberries
4 cups of wild blueberries
2 cups of chopped up, skinned, peaches
3 peeled and cored granny smith apples
6 cups of sugar

Pick some berries and then take their picture:

Peel peaches by running under hot tap water, chop up into 1 inch pieces.  Wash berries and remove any leaves and sticks.

Crush a few berries with your (clean) hands and combine with peaches and sugar in a good pot with a thick bottom.  Pass a few berries to the baby so she will let you make jam in peace.  These are not high pectin fruits so add the peeled, cored and finely chopped apples.

Stir and cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Turn up the heat and simmer and stir frequently to keep jam from sticking.  After about 20 minutes, start testing to see if jam will set.  Take about a teaspoon worth and place on a saucer in the fridge for a minute of two.  Jam should gel or “stay in place” after being cooled.  It took us about 40 minutes but we like really thick jam and it was a quite a humid day.

Pack while hot into hot sterilized jars, close lids finger tight and then boil full jars for 5 minutes.
Cool and Enjoy! Feel free to eat the leftovers straight out of the pot with a spoon and a baby.

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