Friday, August 21, 2009

Food Friday - - Jam

Well, for this Food Friday we have my canning experience. I have never canned things before this. Me and the boy had bought a bunch of Nectarines and Plums, well with this warmer weather we've been having, the fruit was too ripe, too quickly. He was just going to throw them away, but I decided this was an opportunity to try making some jam like I have seen many fellow bloggers doing. Yes, I can be a lemming sometimes. So I got twelve 4oz canning jars and a box of pectin and got started.

To begin I roughly cut up about 8 small plums and 5 small nectarines and put them in my food processor.

And puree. I chose to leave the peel on, because I didn't see any real purpose to taking them off. Then this went into a pan, with a half cup of sugar, and the pectin. This was brought to a boil while the jars boiled.

In a frying pan, I put a little over an inch of water and the lids. (This is after they have been washed with hot, soapy water.)

In a regular pot, I put five jars and filled it with water until there was a little over an inch above the jars. (Again, after they have been washed with hot, soapy water.)

I chose to buy the pectin that didn't have to have sugar in it, just because I didn't want to use a lot of sugar in the jam because the fruit was already very ripe and sweet. I added only about a fourth of this pack because I didn't want the jam to be really thick, just somewhat thicker.

When the fruit mixture was ready, I took the jars out of the boiling water and put them on a towel (no cold counters, we don't want shattering jars).

I filled each one, leaving about 1/4" at the top.

After putting the seal and lids on, they go back into the boiling water for 10 minutes.

Of course, there was a little left over and I didn't mind eating it :)

After the 10 minutes were up, I placed a folded towel over a baking sheet and took out the jars to be placed on it. My apartment has very limited counter space, so they sat upon the fridge to cool and set.

Experiment #2
I still had 7 jars left and had enjoyed the canning process, so I decided to get some raspberries and make more jam. Raspberry jam is one of my favorites. I used one 12oz bag of frozen raspberries and two 6oz fresh containers of raspberries. (The frozen were for more economical reasons)

This time, I used the rest of the box of the pectin, deciding that with school starting up I wasn't going to have time to do any more of this. In retrospect, jam came out thicker than I'd like, so I should have just done half the packet.

I had been reading up on some recipes for jams and jellies and found honey jelly, so I decided to use honey as my sweetener instead of sugar. I started out with a small amount and worked my way up until I thought it was the right taste. I ended up using 1 cup of honey.

After the berries got softer with cooking, they were mashed down and cooked to boiling.

I forgot to show with the first experiment, this is what I used for tongs. Just two spoons, carefully positioned.

Again, there was a little left over. Doesn't it just look yummy?

I decided to make a peanut butter and jam sandwich, it was warm, but good.

After 10 minutes of boiling jars, everything wen on the same sheet and together the plum/nectarine jam and the raspberry jam cooled and settled.

I will admit that when the jars made their little popping sound while cooling, I freaked out thinking 'crap, figures I ruined them', until I looked up online and that was the noise you wanted. :) Any how, have tasted both of them and they are delicious. Probably would have made the plum a little thicker and the raspberry not so thick.


  1. Looks like fun. I need to try that. Guess what I learned this week! We have two plum trees in our backyard! I have never had plums though... but this looks like something I could do with them :)

  2. Good Job, enjoy your jelly !!!

  3. YUM! Canning is such a fun way to have summer flavors all winter long.