August 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
Berries are good by themselves, but when their season comes, making jam undoubtedly comes right along with it.
Besides making this jam, I was not very productive yesterday. The heat was intense, but lovely & I have it to thank for the abundance of berries I found on the side of the road. At first glance I guessed they were classic raspberries, but I noticed slight differences as I began picking them. The berries oozed a sticky red nectar & grew from furry yellow-orange canes.
It goes without saying that only a taste test could confirm my suspicion. I had picked raspberries only two days previous so the taste was fresh in my memory & easy to compare. Wineberries are more seedy & a bit tart compared to raspberries, so I decided they would be best thrown around in some sugar & preserved.
This recipe works for any type of berry, just adjust the fruit to sugar ratio based on the tartness of whatever fruit you are using. In this particular recipe I used a ratio of 4:1 1/2 cups respectively. Normally I’ll use a ratio of 4:1 cups, but as I mentioned, wineberries are more tart than a sweet raspberry or black raspberry.
8 cups of berries, 2 1/2 cups, plus 1/2 a cup of organic turbinado sugar, 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbsp lemon zest, fruit pectin*
*I use Pomona’s Universal Fruit Pectin, it does not require sugar to gel, but instead is activated by calcium so it works really well in low sugar recipes. I will give directions based on how I make the jam using Pomona’s Pectin.
Wash the berries & sift threw them to remove all of the debris. Make calcium water. Add berries & sugar to a medium sauce pan. Add 8 teaspoons of calcium water. Mix over medium-high heat until a light foam appears at the top. Skim off the foam, stop stirring & bring to a boil. Meanwhile prepare the pectin (according to the directions which depend on what type you are using). In this case, mix 5 teaspoons of pectin with a half cup of sugar.
Once fruit comes to a rapid boil, reduce heat & add pectin slowly while stirring. Be careful not dump it all in at once or you will find yourself with large clumps of pectin. Stir well until pectin has been fully mixed into the fruit. After all the pectin is distributed evenly, bring the jam to a rolling boil. Have sterilized jars ready. Transfer all of the jam to the jars & either boil to seal or refrigerate immediately.
In the refrigerator jelly will keep for at about 6-8 weeks after opening it. If you to seal the jars completely (by submerging them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes), the jam will last for months before it is opened.
Making jam may seem old-fashioned when we can buy it so many places, but it is so much better home-made. It makes a great gift, it’s delicious mixed into yogurt, paired with cheese, warmed over ice cream or enjoyed on some good old buttered toast.