Friday, September 4, 2009
We've been living in our own little Garden of Eden for about 3 years now. Our approximately 2 acre property has a mini assortment of free growing fruits. We have pears, peaches, grapes, apples, strawberries, crabapples, blueberries, and raspberries. Usually, we only have enough grapes, pears and crabapples to do any canning without having to use some from the supermarket or farmers market, but this year, we had more than enough peaches, too!!! Not only was I able to make a substantial batch of jam, but I still have enough ripening on the counter to can as they are for winter! I have been messing around with jelly and jam recipes since we moved in and only this year did I find the perfect (any fruit) jam recipe. I found it at my favorite site www.allrecipes.com but the specific site for the jam is http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Strawberry-Jam/Detail.aspx.
Here's the basic jist of the recipe:
4 cups of fruit (mashed)
4 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of lemon juice
Fill your canning pot with water and start it on a high temperature burner so that it will be boiling by the time the jam is ready. Place 3 dishes in the freezer to test the consistency of the jam. Mix all ingredients in a thick bottomed sauce pan. Set the heat to boil, as the pot and ingredients are heating continue to stir occasionally until the sugar has melted and the pot is at a rolling boil, then stir continuously for about 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, take a teaspoonful of the jam and put it on one of the plates that had been placed in the freezer. Run your finger through the jam. If the jam runs back together, continue to let it boil for another 2-3 minutes, and try again. If not, turn off the heat and continue to stir until the jam has stopped boiling. Put into clean sterilized jars and begin your canning process.
I love this recipe because I don't have to mess with pectin and the sugar to fruit ratio is 1:1 as opposed to most recipes which are usually 7:4. It is perfect as far as sweetness and consistency go, and you can always make it a little runny to use as an ice cream or waffle topping.
Easy peasy and super delicious. This year for Christmas, each of my husband's siblings and their families will be getting a basket of fresh jams and homemade bread as well as homemade personalized aprons for each of the children. So far, I've made strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and peach. Within the next week or so, our apples will be done, and it looks like I won't have to add any of them from the market this year either!