Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer in A Jar

I've been a busy girl! 

I have always wanted to try canning. I even asked for canning "supplies" for last christmas/hanukkah/festivus. I've never been 'brave' enough to start --- but I promise it's not so scary once you do it.

My sweet sweet father-in-law was on a day trip along the Natchez Trace a couple of weeks ago and came across some lovely blackberries. Lucky for me he picked me up about 8 quarts.

Being new to canning I thought I'd need the whole amount - Oh, how wrong could I be!!?! Turns out with only 4 quarts, I made 12 half pint jars and 8 pints. We've done so much with it that I hope we have enough for the winter -- my dad put it on vanilla ice cream with fresh pineapple the other day. Divine.

I neglected to take any pictures of the process - but I wanted to share the recipe I used. This is one I found on one of my fave blogs, Food In Jars. Besides, her pics are amazing and I couldn't do it any better.

I've found another blackberry recipe with maple and be tried, shortly.
 (And with the requisite pictures, this time.)

The recipe is below, and here's the link to her post: Blackberry Jam
  • 6 cups blackberry pulp (8-9 cups of berries, mashed through a strainer with the back of a wooden spoon)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 packet liquid pectin (half the box)
  1. Prepare your jars, start your lids to simmering and bring your canning pot to a boil.
  2. In a large, non-reactive pot (stainless steel or enameled cast iron), combine the sugar and fruit pulp and bring to a simmer. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest/juice and stir to combine.
  3. Let the mixture reach a boil, stirring frequently to prevent it from boiling over. When the mixture appears to be thickening a bit, add the pectin and bring it back to a roiling boil.
  4. Let it boil vigorously for at least five minutes to activate the pectin. Before removing from the heat, check the set using the plate or spoon test to ensure that the jam will firm up when cool.
  5. Fill your jars with the hot jam, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
  6. Remove from canner and allow the jars to completely cool on a dishtowel-lined counter top.
  7. Once the jars are cool, check the seals, label them and eat!

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