Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Canning Cookbook- Jam Collection

I've been on a real jam kick lately. And not just making it, talking about it, tasting it, sharing recipes, changing out fruits, tossing ideas around with other canning friends. I think it's because county fair time is coming up, and I've been trying to come up with new ideas to enter. What I ended up with is a list of several I plan on making, but because I have limited storage space, and only two mouths to feed, making 20 different jams is probably not a good idea. Instead, I have decided to compile a list of the recipes I plan to make as jars free up in the cabinet and my current supply dwindles, as fruits come into season and are available, and when I am bored later and have a freezer filled with frozen fruits.

There is almost a theme with these recipes- tropical and boozy. Kiwis and mangoes are usually readily available and definitely tropical. Dragonfruit are a rare treat for me to see in the store but the next time I see them I WILL be grabbing enough for a small batch of jam. Pineapples also go on sale throughout the year- when I can get a good deal, I'll grab them, cut them up and tuck away in the freezer. Berries are available pretty much year-round but I usually get them in season and tuck several pints away in the freezer to use later. As for the booze, well, that's always available. I can grab little airplane bottles for most recipes, eliminating the need for an expensive liquor collection. 

The process of making jam doesn't really vary much. You prepare the fruit. Cook it. Add the pectin, cook it some more. Add the sugar, bring to a boil. Ladle into jars and process in boiling water bath for ten minutes. Very rarely will a jam recipe vary from that basic formula. Before we get to the cooking part, let's run down some jam ingredients and give them a title.

Tropical Kiwi Jam
12 kiwi fruit, chopped
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup coconut
1 package powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
3-4 tb  melon liqueur such as Midori

Mango Rum Jam
4 cups diced mango
1/2 cup water
2 tb lemon juice
1 packet powdered pectin
7 cups sugar
3-4 tb  mango rum- Parrot Bay or Malibu are good

Southern Peach Bourbon Jam
4 cups peeled, pitted, diced peaches
1/2 cup water
2 tb lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
7 cups sugar
1/2 cup bourbon

Dragonfruit Jam
2 lbs dragonfruit (discard peels and dice)
3 cups finely diced pineapple
3/4 water
1 package powdered pectin
1 tb lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup dragonfruit rum- Bacardi makes a great one

Kiwi Daiquiri Jam
8 kiwi fruit (2 cups pulp)
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup coconut rum such as Malibu

Chambord Berry Jam
7 cups mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, chopped strawberries, blackberries)
1/2 cup water
2 tb lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup Chambord

**Note: Always use bottled lemon juice in canning, and I prefer to use canned unsweetened pineapple juice- it just gives better, more consistent results.

Prepare your fruit.  Most of the fruit will need to be peeled and chopped, obviously not berries. Chop or mash, that's up to you and the consistency you like your jam to be.

Get your jars ready. Wash jars thoroughly, and hold in boiling water until time to fill. Place lids in simmering water to warm but DO NOT BOIL.

Make your jam. Cook your fruit, with added water if required, lemon or fruit juice, until softened. Gradually stir in the pectin and fully incorporate into the fruit. You shouldn't have any lumps. If the recipe you are using calls for coconut, add that now as well. Bring this mixture to a full rolling boil.  Add the full measure of sugar all at once. Stir and bring back to a full rolling boil. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat, skim off any foam. Stir in the booze and ladle into hot jars that have been removed from water and drained. Make sure to leave 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Fix lids and rings. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Typically, I use 8 oz jelly jars, but you can use the 4 oz. jars or pint jars- the processing time is the same. 

The yield will vary from recipe to recipe. Jams make great last minute gifts and are fun to enter in county fairs. They are easy to make, practically foolproof and even if they don't set, you get a tasty fruity syrup for pancakes and french toast. I'm especially excited about the dragonfruit jam. 

You might wonder what's up with all the boozy jams. Well, I like them because they are different, less breakfasty and definitely more "artisan" than a jar of strawberry preserves. You can always leave the alcohol out if you prefer not to use it, it's just a flavor enhancer and fun way to switch it up and make it "mine." 

{Please note- I have exchanged recipes with so many people from all over, I cannot be sure of the origin of some of the recipes, I can only provide you the ingredients and methods used by me.}

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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