7.22.2015

How to smash your fruit for Canning


There are two tool's I use for smushing my fruit in jam's. I know smushing is not a word but it is as close as this girl can get. I love my jams with pieces of fruit that can pop in your mouth. Jam is something that deserves real pieces of fruit.









So back to the topic. What I use to thin out the fruit you ask?  The potato smasher that is my go to when I do not want to loose the quality of great jam pieces. I use this for most of my berry jam's.













To the right you see where I used it to smash my peaches that I used in my Blueberry Peach Jam. I sliced the peaches but need them broken down just a bit more. The potato smasher was perfect for his jam.














Here I just worked around the lemons. Yuppers I just slice those beauties and in they go. this way I get the pectin, and real lemon flavors.











Here is the link for the consumer reviews on many immersion blenders Immersion Blender Reviews

7.06.2015

Blueberry Pineapple Jam


 Blueberry Jam with Pineapple this is a winning combination. I seem to want to mix up my jam's any time I can. The season is here and all jam's we make right now are like a candy store delight.

This Blueberry Pineapple Jam is a simple jam as are most once you get the hang of it!

So let us create some Blueberry Pineapple Jam.


I found a tool that cuts the Pineapple and it is so simple and easy. Cutting is always what held me back from using pineapple. When I cut is I come out with about 30 % less then when using this tool Avon Pineapple Cutter



Ingredients

6 cups of blueberries
3 cups of chopped pineapple
4 cups of sugar
1 box powder pectin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice






 Once your fruit is measured put it and the lemon juice into a large stainless steel pot and bring to a rapid boil. Please stir it so it does not burn.





















Mix pectin with half cup of your sugar I find when it is mixed it incorporates better. Once your fruit is at a rolling boil add your pectin mixture and bring back to a boil.















Add the sugar into the fruit mixture and cook over high heat continuing your boil , stirring constantly. Continue until your have reached the gel point.









 Remove from heat. Skim and stir to remove foam. Ladle jam into hot jars wipe the rims and seal.Give them a 15 minute bath.








 Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes. 


6.23.2015

Using Butter to get rid of the Foam in Jam

Foam no one likes it in their jam. I have done the deed and tested the "butter" for no more or less foam in your jam test.
Yes it works it will eliminate or cut your foam down a lot.




 BUT .....  yup always a BUT





Why do I not recommend it ?








There is no testing to prove that it is safe in jam making. It is "said" even the smallest amount of butter can cause your jam to spoil sooner.

And really are we that lazy that we can not take the time to skim. The stuff is delicious in so many way's. xoxo


Here is a link on the what and why is there foam





How you can use your foam

  • Pop on top of warm biscuit
  • Mix with Cream Cheese for flavored cream cheese (thank you neighbor Nancy)
  • Put into a blender with your soft ice cream instant flavored shake or re-freeze for Popsicle
  • Microwave the foam on high but watch it when it comes out it is a beautiful syrup or just more jam.

6.22.2015

Apricot Jam with Dried Cranberries


Apricot Jam such a pleasure. I truly get ready for this wonderful season so fruit packed. Sweet and delicious. So this year I got a bit creative with the Apricot. As you can see I got a few. I lined them up on my table for a day or two to ripen them up just right. I never want them to over-ripen because then the jam is no good. You want your fruit firm but tasty. Never mushy, bruised or mealy.

This year I added some dried cranberries. The apricots are so fresh and sweet that bit of tart added a great taste.









Ingredients

Makes about 7 half pints

8 cups of chopped apricots
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups of granulated sugar
Gel to 222 degrees or * 1 box pectin follow direction for pectin



Clean your fruit and cut off the spots/bruises and loosen the pit and dis-guard.  Chop your apricots. I slice the apricot in half then quarter the half. I love my jams chunky. Have your cranberries measured out . When you cook the apricots it will break up so do not worry about skin . No you do not have to peel your apricots they will dissipate when cooked.









Cook your chopped apricots on medium heat until they begin to make a thinner consistency. Add the lemon and cranberries. If the apricots are to thick just smush them to make them smaller. 










Once the apricots are cooked down to the right size and consistency for your jam it is time to get your sugar ready to add OR Mix your pectin with equal parts sugar this helps it to blend in with your fruit. If you added pectin then bring this to a rolling boil for at least 3 minutes. Then move on down to the sugar adding part with us.













With Apricot jam there is always just a little foam. This just goes with jam making at times. Nothing is wrong with you jam. Some people add a bit of butter. I have experimented with butter and with out. I choose to put less stuff in my jam's. So no butter for me. And I eat the foam on crackers after it cools. No there is nothing wrong with the foam just ugly!





There will be foam but that is good not to worry. The foam is just from the boiling jam coming up through the viscous jam. Here is a link to more information on Foam in my Jam

 



Now it is time to add your sugar have it measure out so it is easier to add. Add it slowly about 2 cups at a time, while stirring and keep you jam at the rolling boil your not done with your work out yet.







Keep this boil going for yet another 5 minutes when you have made jam for a while you will know when it has reached it gel point. Sometimes it is hit and miss there are times I have done everything perfect to only come out with syrup. If you did not use pectin please get it to a temperature of  222 degrees with a candy thermometer. Never throw away any jam that is to thin you can re-do it or use it for Syrup! Think Ice Cream !

Your jars should be ready this amount of jam fills 7 half pint jars or 4 pint jars. Ladle the jam into the jars leaving a 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe the rims. Cap and water bath process for 15 minutes. Always have extra jars you just never know nothing in canning or cooking is exact well for me it isn't. Water bath your jars for 10 minutes.

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes. 

6.16.2015

Cherry Marmalade


Well as we head down the last day of our Cherry Spectacular we end with some Cherry Marmalade.

This is where sweet meet tart and there is a piece of fish that may just get marinaded with this Jam!






 As we bid farewell to the delicious cherries that The Washington Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation sent us we have a sad thought. Why ...Why.... wait why not get more! Ok all better!

Ingredients

2 pounds of Cherries
1/2 a cup of thinly slices lemon peel
1 cup of lemon pulp
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice





Clean, pit and cut your cherries in half. Now rinse them again. Chop your cherries to the consistency you like. We all know I love thick jam. When you are cooking them the skin will dissipate a bit. Watch for pit's. They do not float like citrus seeds.







It is important to not skip this step.
Now take the slices and cut them into quarters. Put the slices in 1/2 cup of the lemon juice add the 1/4 tsp of baking soda and put it into a small pot bring it to a boil. Turn it down and let it simmer on low for 20 minutes this tenderizes the rind's.



 Have your cup of lemon pulp ready, It is super easy to get the rind out . I went to a class in Oakland at the Still Room and here is the link to tell you how to Section your Citrus.











Start you batch by putting your clean chopped cherries into a non-reactive pot and turn the flame on medium heat.









Now add all your citrus and rinds. Smash your cherries while they are cooking the juice is thick and dark. There are a few ways of doing this. You can mush or use an immersion blender while they are cooking. They do thin out while cooking no matter how you cut them.

If you use an immersion blender add the rinds after !







Bring everything to a rapid boil and can start to add your sugar one cup at a time. Between cup's stir and let the sugar dissolve prior to adding another cup. Do this until all the sugar is added and then bring it back up to a rolling boil.









Beautiful deep color. Gel times differ if you use no pectin or pectin. No pectin needs to be brought up to a boiling point of 223 degrees. Pectin is to the boiling point. Here is a pectin not pectin link to help you if needed.






With Marmalade the citrus has pectin in it naturally so if you bring it up to the proper gel point you will have perfect Marmalade.





Now it is time to scrap the foam off and get to jarrin' up. Turn off the burner and let your jam sit for 5 minutes this helps the fruit not to float to the top of the jar once water-bathed. Scrap off the foam and have your jars ready.  Ladle into 1/2 pint jelly jars till 1/4" from the top of the jar. Wipe your jars clean and cap and water bath them for 12 minutes.





Take the jams out of the water bath and let them cool overnight. Once cooled take  the ring off wash and store in a cool spot. Your jam's will be good for 6 to 9 months. Once open put them in the refrigerator and enjoy.

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.

Cherry Blueberry Jam

 
Well this Cherry Jam experiment is just getting better every day. I cannot seem to stop loving all the way's I have chosen to create new cherry jam's. Now do not get me wrong people have made plenty of Cherry Jam's on the Web but mine take it one step further.

Here I have taken the Cherry and added it's friend the Blueberry making a dark warm Jam truly a gift to your toast.


Or on top of a big bowl of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Yup ! Oh yes again let us thank The Washington Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation for their cherries and trust in my ability to make them Cherry Happy.

Ingredients

4 cups of cherries
3 cups of blueberries
1 lemon
4 cups of sugar




Clean, pit and cut your cherries in half. Now rinse them again. Chop your cherries to the consistency you like. We all know I love thick jam. When you are cooking them the skin will dissipate a bit. Watch for pit's. They do not float like citrus seeds. 






Cut your lemon and squeeze the dickens out of it. I squeeze it right into the jam when cooking. Watch for seeds. 





Start you batch by putting your clean chopped cherries into a non-reactive pot and turn the flame on medium heat.








Add you 3 cups of Blueberries and your lemon juice.








 By now you have your blueberries and lemon added and have your jam going at a nice simmer. Time to add your sugar. Bring the jam mixture up to a rolling boil and add your sugar one cup at a time. Between cup's stir and let the sugar dissolve prior to adding another cup. Do this until all the sugar is added and then bring it back up to a rolling boil.







Gel times differ if you use no pectin or pectin. No pectin needs to be brought up to a boiling point of 223 degrees. Pectin is to the boiling point. Here is a pectin not pectin link to help you if needed.









Now it is time to scrap the foam off and get to jarrin' up. Turn off the burner and let your jam sit for 5 minutes this helps the fruit not to float to the top of the jar once water-bathed. Scrap off the foam and have your jars ready.  Ladle into 1/2 pint jelly jars till 1/4" from the top of the jar. Wipe your jars clean and cap and water bath them for 12 minutes.



Take the jams out of the water bath and let them cool overnight. Once cooled take  the ring off wash and store in a cool spot. Your jam's will be good for 6 to 9 months. Once open put them in the refrigerator and enjoy.

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.

Cherry Jam with Cinnamon & Ginger


Cherry Jam with Ginger and Cinnamon it is almost like pie on toast! Well here is the second in a series of Cherry-licious Jam Recipes. And again let us thank The Washington Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation for their cherries and trust in my ability to make them Cherry Happy.






Well this Cherry recipe had quite a great taste . It was like summer delight marries holiday cheer.

Ingredients

3 pounds cherries
1 lemon
1 tsp of ground cinnamon and 2/ 3 cinnamon pods
1 tablespoon of fresh ground ginger
4 cups of sugar




Clean, pit and cut your cherries in half. Now rinse them again. Chop your cherries to the consistency you like. We all know I love thick jam. When you are cooking them the skin will dissipate a bit. Watch for pit's. They do not float like citrus seeds.






Cut your lemon and squeeze the dickens out of it. I squeeze it right into the jam when cooking. Watch for seeds. 


Grind fresh ginger this gives it a great flavor. If you use powder use only 1 teaspoon.  Ginger is really simple to grind. Use a spoon to scrape the peel off then use a zester or cheese grater the smallest plate on the grater.




Cinnamon can be ground but for the easy way let us just use a teaspoon of already ground and some fresh cinnamon sticks.









Start you batch by putting your clean chopped cherries into a non-reactive pot and turn the flame on medium heat.





Add you ground ginger and powder cinnamon. Not the Sticks Yet!  Smash your cherries while they are cooking the juice is thick and dark. There are a few ways of doing this. You can mush or use an immersion blender while they are cooking. They do thin out while cooking no matter how you cut them.









Look at that beautiful juice in the pot. While the cherries are cooking down add your cinnamon sticks. Keep stirring.









The cinnamon sticks get added last because they get in the way. It does not take long for the flavor to come out of them.







By now you have your lemon, ginger and cinnamon added and have your jam going at a nice simmer. Time to add your sugar. Bring the jam mixture up to a rolling boil and add your sugar one cup at a time. Between cup's stir and let the sugar dissolve prior to adding another cup. Do this until all the sugar is added and then bring it back up to a rolling boil.




 Gel times differ if you use no pectin or pectin. No pectin needs to be brought up to a boiling point of 223 degrees. Pectin is to the boiling point. Here is a pectin not pectin link to help you if needed.





Now it is time to scrap the foam off and get to jarrin' up. Turn off the burner and let your jam sit for 5 minutes this helps the fruit not to float to the top of the jar once water-bathed. Scrap off the foam and have your jars ready.  Ladle into 1/2 pint jelly jars till 1/4" from the top of the jar. Wipe your jars clean and cap and water bath them for 12 minutes.









Take the jams out of the water bath and let them cool overnight. Once cooled take  the ring off wash and store in a cool spot. Your jam's will be good for 6 to 9 months. Once open put them in the refrigerator and enjoy.

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.