Jammin’ [A Frenzied Two Days Making Jam]

The finsihed product, quarts and quarts of jam

The finished product, quarts and quarts of jam

We eat a lot of jam at our house.  I’ve already made Strawberry Sweet Woodruff, Strawberry Rhubarb, Strawberry Pineapple, Blueberry Rhubarb and Tomato Ginger, but the raspberries are ready at my favorite Pick-Your-Own farm and we set off to fill our baskets.  I have tried growing raspberries but find them unruly to deal with, so we pick ours at this farm where there is no spraying.

The beautiful color of boiling rasperries.

The beautiful color of boiling rasperries.

Raspberry Jam is the easiest, no hulling of berries and no need to wash them, as I know who picked them.  Just crush, measure, add sugar and a little lemon juice and that’s it.  I don’t add as much sugar as many recipes ask for as we don’t like our jam too sweet but this means I need to cook it down a little more.  [See my instructions on how to tell it’s done in the post Ponderosa Lemon Marmalade, March 19, 2012.]  After the jam is done, I ladle it into jars and process it in my canning kettle for 10 minutes, just to ensure the seal.  This step isn’t really necessary but I do it to be on the safe side.

I also bought peaches and Concord grapes in the Farm Store.  I need the peaches for more Peach Chutney and I want to make some Peach Jam.  I often make Ginger Peach, but just having made Ginger Tomato, I make regular Peach Jam with a spice ball of cinnamon sticks and cloves to add flavor.  I also grate in an apple as peaches don’t have much pectin and I don’t like to use the artificial commercially available pectin.

Peach Jam cooking down

Peach Jam cooking down

Grape jelly in the making.

Grape jelly in the making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the grapes, I’ve adapted a recipe from my Mother-in-law’s old 1954 Joy of Cooking which I inherited upon her death.  It’s also spiced with cinnamon and cloves but it cuts the cloying sweetness of the grapes with vinegar and is a jelly, so quite a different flavor from the Peach Jam.  To make the jelly, remove the grapes from their stems and cook them down with a little water, then drain them through layers of cheesecloth or a jelly bag.  Resist the temptation to squeeze out every drop of juice, or the jelly will be cloudy.  I let it drain overnight, then measure the juice and add the other ingredients.  Happiness is a full jam cupboard!

Jam enough for the whole year.

Jam enough for the whole year.

Boiling raspberries, sugar and lemon juice
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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Tracy said,

    Wow! Happiness IS a full jam cupboard! 🙂

    Like


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