July 7, 2008
no-pectin strawberry raspberry jam:
8 cups raspberries (fresh or defrosted – frozen berries collapse which can screw with your measurements – measure before you freeze)
8 cups strawberries (fresh or defrosted)
12 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
Combine raspberries and strawberries in a large (and i mean big) stainless steel pot with sugar. let stand for an hour. Add lemon juice and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring consistently. You want a rolling boil maintained without overflowing the pot. Keep at this for 25-30 minutes.
Testing for set:
- Cold plate: stick a small plate in the freezer to chill. Ladle a small spoonful of jam on the plate and wait a few minutes. Has it gelled to a jam-like consistency? No? Keep cooking. Not sure? Keep cooking. Nothing sucks more than having to unseal jam jars the next day and recook your jam (believe me, i know).
- Sheet: take a cold metal spoon and scoop up some jam-in-progress. Count to 20 and slowly tilt it. Does the jam run off in one big stream? Keep cooking. Does it ooze in several drops at a time, that slowly join into a sheet drop? It’s done.
- Eyeball: i’ve noticed that the consistency of long-slow-cook jam changes after about 20-25 minutes. The bubbles get stickier and glassier looking – similar to what you see if you’ve ever made caramel. The jam thickens up as you cook it down and you notice a difference in the texture as you stir.
Sterilize your jars in a boiling water bath beforehand (10 minutes at a rolling boil), soften your snap lids (warm water to soften the rubber seal), inspect your rings for rust/dents from previous use.
Ladle jam into jars (use a wide-mouth funnel if you have one), leaving 1/2 inch headspace between the jam and the rim of the jar. Wipe the rim and the inside/outside of the rim with a clean damp (lint-free) cloth.
Seal the jars and process back in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (keep them upright).
Let cool on a rack. You will know that a vacuum seal has been created when you hear the “ping” of the metal lid getting sucked down. If you’re not sure, test them the next morning by pressing down on the lid. If there is flex in the lid, the jar has not sealed so you need to throw it in the fridge and use it first. Do not try and re-process with the same lid.
This recipe made the equivalent of 13 x 250 mL (8 oz) jars of jam when i made it yesterday. You can always halve the recipe if you so desire.
it has been a canning weekend: strawberry jam, strawberry/rhubarb jam, strawberry/raspberry jam, and raspberry jam. i’d rather make a huge mess and get it over with, all at once.
i made bread and butter pickles for the first time (dead easy – vinegar, sugar, spices – boil – cover for 5 minutes – can), including a batch with my purple cauliflower. It tinted the jar a lovely beet colour.
harvested my first beets and blueberries this past weekend. combined everything you see below (+ raspberries) into an ill-advised backyard salad (beets, carrots, peas, shallots, raspberries, vinaigrette). not a recipe worth sharing, although i did feel very virtuous consuming it.
now i’m off to mop up my sticky kitchen.