One of our family’s greatest summer pleasures is berry picking.
We love our strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and we also love our jam.
I’ve always been intimidated by the whole “canning” process – from sterilizing jars to putting tem back into boiling water to process. It seemed like a lot of work and I was afraid I wouldn’t do it perfectly and as a result would have either exploding glass jars or botulism-infested jam.
Freezer jam has been a great choice because it requires no special processing. But we also like our cooked jam.
Every year I place my cooked jam in clean jars and keep it in the fridge until we figure it’s no longer a good idea. Usually we finish it within weeks, but last year I made a lot & ended up throwing out a few jars…and it hurt.
So this year I decided it was time to do the whole shebang- the “canning process”.
I purchased a Home Canning Kit from Loblaws for $39.99 which included everything I would need as far as hardware goes (it even included 4 – 250ml jars!) I have many jars but bought some more of the 250 ml size. I usually pack in 500ml jars but the get in trouble with my kids when I “give it all away”. This way I get to share the yumminess & still have enough to keep for our family.
I won’t go through the whole canning process at this time as it merits a post of its own. suffice it to say that to my delight it was not nearly as difficult as I thought.
When I make jam I use the recipe in the Certo box. Certo is a brand of pectin which is a key ingredient in making jam. Other than that, you’ll need fruit, lots of sugar and depending on the recipe, a touch of lemon juice. (The strawberry jam I make has only berries, sugar and pectin.
Do not try to cut the sugar out, in whole or in part, the jam doesn’t set. BUT you can buy pectin designed specifically for sugar-reduced or sugar-free jams. When I try it I’ll share my results!
Freezer jam is the easiest ever- crush strawberries, mix with sugar, let sit for 10 minutes. In a small pot bring pectin & 3/4 c. water to a boil. Stir for 1 minute then add to berries & sugar & stir for 3 minutes. Transfer to appropriate container & freeze- DONE!
Cooked jam involves skimming and more stirring over a hot stove and then the canning process, but it’s less daunting then you might think. Try it & let me know how it works!
Do you make jam? What kind? What recipe? Please share!
Wishing you all a sweet & jammin’ weekend!