22 June 2009

Father's Day Jam

A couple summers ago, I finally learned how to water-bath can. My mom had her hip replaced, and she couldn't physically do the canning. She normally does various jams, pickles (the BEST! bread and butter pickles of all time!), tomatoes and whatever else tickles her fancy. We were running low on those bread and butter pickles, so my dad basically said that my mom could be the brains and I could do the labor. So my mom sat in the kitchen and ordered me around (nicely, of course). Honestly, it was the best way I could have ever learned to can anything. I was forced to actually do it myself, but I had the expert in the room just in case I had a question. I am so happy I learned this skill. I have fallen in love with canning and creating perfect homemade gifts. Most of my loved ones received home-canned jams, butters, jellies or sauces for Christmas last year. I enjoy challenging myself to make a new jam for my dad for Father's Day or his birthday. My dad has got to be the biggest fan of fruit spreads on the planet, so it is fun to try new creations out on him.

This year is no different. I decided to use up a variety of berries I had on hand to create a RandomBerry Father's Day Jam. No, there is no such thing as a randomberry that I know of, it is just that the combination of fruits in this jam is a little random. However, I am quite sure that the mix is tartly sweet and uses some of the most beautiful fruit available at the markets right now.

**Disclaimer: I did not test the acidity of this recipe, and I accept no responsibility if it does not gel in your kitchen or makes anyone sick. If you have any doubts, just use the recipe for freezer jam or make a small batch to put in your fridge and eat immediately.**

Father's Day 2009 - RandomBerry Jam

12 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen
3.5 cups blueberries, separated
2 cups service berries
6 lemons, zest and juice reserved
1 large orange, zest and fruit segments reserved
1 pouch liquid pectin
6 cups sugar

Sanitize and prepare 7 half-pint glass jars and rings. Soak lids in hot water. Fill your water bath canner halfway with water and begin to heat on stove.

In a large pan, heat the cranberries, 2 cups of blueberries, serviceberries, zest and juice of the lemons, orange zest and the segments from the orange. Heat until the cranberries are all popped and the mixture thickens. Allow mixture to cool slightly and put through the small plate of a food mill (you can skip this step if you want chunkier jam). Have the food mill over a large pan to collect the fruit pulp. In a separate bowl crush the remaining 1.5 cups of blueberries with a potato masher or the bottom of a glass. Once you have milled the fruit, put the pulp back over the heat and add the entire volume of sugar and the crushed blueberries. Bring to a hard boil that cannot be stirred down. Allow the mixture to boil hard for at least a minute, then add 1 pouch of liquid pectin (I used Knorr/Ball brand) and boil hard for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and skim any foam (mine was foam-less). Follow the directions on your pectin to finish water-bath canning the jam, or just put in the fridge and enjoy.

Yield- about 4 pints.

1 comment:

HoneyB said...

:-) Love your little disclaimer. ;-)