It was an uneventful-ish weekend. I managed to catch something of a cold, so I was pretty much laying low for Saturday and Sunday. The illness put a kink in my plans for jam-making. Feeling better-ish today, I made a quick trip after work out to a farm where I could get some fresh berries.
It is obviously getting late in the season. Raspberries are starting to take over in the fruit section, and the sight of raspberries usually spells the end of strawberry availability, at least availability in enough quantities to make jam. I did get this one flat of strawberries, however, and had enough to make jam and still slice some to make strawberry shortcake for later.
These looked great, (though my amateur photography attempting to capture the moment could use some work):
Not too many ingredients are needed to make fresh jam:
Berries, sugar, pectin, containers to put it into when it’s done.
I’m sure that I could make the cooked kind with sealed jars and such if I wanted to. It just has never seemed that appealing because I can also go out and easily buy a jar of Smuckers at any point during the year. I have never seen freezer jam in the stores. I ended up this time getting a different brand of pectin than what I’ve used in the past. Tonight I had one which was self-dissolving, so I didn’t have to cook it on the stove, and that really sped things up compared to past jam sessions.
The part that took the longest was prepping the berries; washing, cutting off the tops and any soft/critter-nibbled areas, and putting next to the food processor so I could process in batches and get into the sugar mix quickly. If I wanted chunkier jam, I could have just mashed the berries with a potato masher, but I like my jam less textured.
I used a mini food processor to mash/puree my berries. It did occur to me as I was setting up for jam-making that it might be a good idea to have a blender or full-size food processor for these types of projects. I just don’t know how often I would use it for non-jam-making endeavors, whereas my mini processor is nearly worn out from sometimes daily use, so it has earned its spot in the kitchen.
After the berries were mashed, then they got combined with the pre-measured sugar and pectin blend and stirred until dissolved, and then a little more for good measure.
This was a hard thing to photograph. The shiny bowl just made the whole picture look “off” and the jam part doesn’t even look like something edible at this point. I will attest to its being quite tasty though.
I had “help” for about the first 30 or so berries I was prepping. Then I realized it was time for “helpers” to get to bed. They can help eat it later.
Here’s what it looked like after getting into containers:
After sitting on the counter for a half hour, it can go into the freezer (according to the pectin instructions from the brand I was using today. In the past I’ve used pectin that needed to be cooked like gravy and that brand had the jam sit out on the counter for 24 hours before freezing.)
I can’t wait to put this on buttermilk pancakes, baking powder biscuits, and over ice cream. Mmmmm.