Thursday, September 15, 2011

We Be Jammin'

That is, of course, a royal "we", since my jam session was a solitary endeavor.  Still, I managed to churn out three kinds of jam in one day, so I'm pretty proud of myself. 

The raspberry and blueberry jam recipes are one and the same.  It also works for blackberries, boysenberries, dewberries, gooseberries, loganberries, and youngberries.  I actually wouldn't be surprised if it worked for ground cherries as well, since they are apparently naturally high in pectin, without any additional pectin added, but I couldn't for the life of me find a pectin-free ground cherry recipe to compare it to and didn't feel like experimenting, so I used a tried and true recipe with added stuff.  Maybe at some point I'll play around searching for a pectin-free (and therefore a lot cheaper!) ground cherry jam recipe, but probably not this year, especially since I don't even know for sure that my ground cherry plants survived the night since there was a chance of frost and I don't know if my covering of them was sufficient!  In the meantime, here are both the recipes I used for my jam session this week.

Berry Jam
 Adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

9 cups crushed berries
5 cups sugar

Combine berries and sugar in a large pan.  Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Cook rapidly, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until the boiling jam drips off a cool, metal spoon dipped into it in a single flake or sheet.  (If you prefer perfect measurements, find out the exact boiling point for your elevation and add 8 degrees F to it.  That is the "gelling point".)  Remove from heat.  Ladle jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Put on two-piece caps and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

Ground Cherry Jam
 Adapted from some random sites on the internet.  Disappointingly, the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving does not seem to mention ground cherries anywhere within it.

3 cups ground cherries, removed from husks
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
3 cups sugar

Wash ground cherries.  Combine fruit, lemon juice, water, and pectin in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  When ground cherries begin to burst, mash them well.   Add sugar.  Return to boil and boil an additional 1 minute.  Ladle into hot jars.  Put on two-piece caps and process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. We have a little store here called Mr. G's... it's a "bent and bumped" store, and they sell things that are "at or around" their expiry date. We love it! We get all our pasta there (at a HUGE discount!), and our rice (a 50 lb bag of rice for $15!!). Occasionally they'll have something fun (Devon custard for a buck), and they sell clothes, too (kids' winter jackets that are nice and fluffy, for $10). Anyhow, they *always* (all year, without fail) have canning supplies. Jars, lids, rings, pectin, packets for making salsa, you name it they have it.

    I get my pectin as a liquid (well, kind of more like a gel, but you know what I mean) for between a dime and a buck a packet, depending on what they have in stock. When they're a dime, I usually buy the whole box, because pectin happens to also be good for joint pain (tablespoon of pectin to 4 oz real grape juice).