Tomorrow will be a scorcher in the PNW, so I
thought of a quick bribe used my time wisely for another GOOD EATS post. Today is a rainy “ugh” day, so I got busy in the kitchen. If I tell my sons* what I am doing, chances increase immeasurably that I may see them sooner..so…
First, a note about jam making. I have tried sugar free recipes, liquid pectin, powdered pectin, lemon juice, no lemon juice, and several others searching for a healthy jam. (Is that an oxymoron?) I have made cooked jam, refrigerator jam, and freezer jam. I have used mixers, blenders, mashers, and just about every kitchen utensil available. I tried the following recipe a few years ago and have never gone back. It’s my no fail/no fuss (but plenty of mess) recipe.
Arguably, some may think making this jam is a huge ordeal. Either I am used to it or I have a fever, but I set it all out ahead of time and it goes quickly.
Starting with the best from a farm around the corner, these berries were picked yesterday and are indescribably sweet. In the SIX hallocks only that I used for this double batch, I threw out the equivalent of half a berry. That’s it. The cost of a day old flat in these parts is a full $10.00 less per flat than for a full price, picked today flat. I can live with that.
As stated, it’s an easy 1:1 ratio.
I know. It does seem like a lot of sugar. A lot. That’s probably because it is. A lot. However, when I think of the preservatives–no pun intended–in the commercially made jams and jellies, not to mention a lack of flavor, I have to believe this is better. Two ingredients. Are you smiling yet?
I try to set out everything I think I may need ahead of time:
OK, here we go:
Berries are fully crushed and sugar is added. I use my pressure cooker pot to cook the jam. That is my preference since I have a strong dislike for hot jam splatter.
I took a video of this next part because it is essential to the success of the recipe. We may be tempted to avoid that rolling boil, but this is key: the jam needs to maintain a rolling boil while stirred. I time this for 15-20 minutes (depending on how thick it feels after 15 min.).
Meanwhile, I’ve had my water bath heating on the stove top.
The recipe states that at this point, the jam can be ladled into hot jars, sealed, and flipped over on the counter. I do not follow this part of the recipe. I place my sealed jars in the water bath–the water has to cover the jars–and cook for 15 minutes (boiling water bath).
This step DOES NOT OVERCOOK the jam. I was afraid it might, but it does not.
After the jam has cooked for 15 minutes in the water bath, I take them out and place on a towel or cutting board to cool. I always cover the jars with a towel.
The boys have been warned. We’ll see who shows up for some of mom’s bribery jam.
Make that briberry jam. 😉
*I am an Even-Steven type of mother and have not forgotten my daughter. She does not eat jam. Coffee and chocolate work with her. 😉