A few weeks ago I wrote about the Canning Adventure that Emily and I had. Fruit was smashed, pounds of sugar was used, some lots of wine was consumed, and jam was made. Oh, how can I forget about that small kitchen fire? That alone is why Price tends to run away when the 2 of us are together.
This was a major refresher in math skills. The original recipe called for 1 single fruit in quarts. Well we had to make it difficult by using 2 fruits in various containers. This involved looking for conversion tables online as well as harassing Price and his friend Chris for confirmation that we did it correction. Conclusion… “math is hard”
Prior to canning, I got 2 books that I found really helpful. We used Better Home and Garden’s You Can Can for this first canning adventure. It is a step-by-step book that really breaks down the canning and preserving process using photographs, tables, and clear instrcutions. I REALLY suggest this book for first time canners because it explains the process and the reasoning behind various things. For example, when to use boiling-water canning vs pressure canning. Hint: it has to do with the pH level of the food. This book, and the wine we consumed, made canning really fun.
Not to toot our horns too loudly, but this jam was pretty damn amazing. The texture was even with crushed fruit, while still having some rather large pieces of blackberries. Getting a spoonful with a large blackberry in there to spread over some toast was amazing. The combination of fruit works really well together- raspberries add a bit of a tangy bit that holds itself against the rich blackberry, which the blueberries mellow that flavor out a bit. It is a rather sweet jam so you could cut that with a bit of lemon juice (2 tablespoons added to the fruit prior to processing).
Mixed Berry Jam
Prep Time: 35 Minutes Process: 5 Minutes Makes: 8/9 Half Pint Jars1 pint of blueberries 3 6oz packages of raspberries 3 6oz packages of blackberries 7 cups of sugar 1 1.75 packet of pectin
Wash and clean all fruit.
Combine the blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. In a LARGE pot, add 1 cup at a time, smash* the fruit together. Continue until all fruit is smashed. Stir in the pectin.
Heat over a High heat, stir constantly, until the mixture is at a rolling boil. Add the sugar all at once. Return to a rolling boil; boil for 1 minute, stir constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Immediately ladle jam into hot, sterlized janning cars. Leave 1/4″ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, place lid on jar and screw on bands (so they are secure but not too tight).
Process jars using the boiling-water method for 5 minutes (start timing when the water returns to a boil). Remove jars and cool on a wire rack, just not directly on your counter.
*A potato masher works well. Or improvise, like we did.