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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jams: Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry, & Blackberry

Making jam is one of those things that has always seemed shrouded in mystery. On the day your first grandchild is born a stranger hands you a slip of paper with the secrets to making jam and baking bread, thus inducting you into grandmotherhood. Right?
Well don't tell anyone, but this couldn't be easier: three ingredients, one pot, and a jar. No pectin, no fancy equipment, and definitely not rocket science. I should have done this years ago! I made Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry, and Blackberry today but you could use any fruit that's in season, local, and abundant - raspberries, peaches, mangoes, etc.

*Make a little more than 2 cups of jam
3 cups fruit
1 cup sugar
Juice of one lemon

Make the jam...
1. In a large pot, combine the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice.
2. Set over medium heat and stir frequently as the sugar begins to melt.
3. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the fruit has broken down and the mixture is thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes, depending on the moisture content of your fruit. The mixture should be thick and oooooze off your spoon rather than drip. It will thicken as it cools so you're aiming for the consistency of thin jam.

Sterilizing the jars...
*This step is important!! You must sterilize the jars after you fill them.
1. Fill clean jars with jam and screw on the tops.
2. Lay or stand the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes to sterilize.


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