Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Adorably lame homemade labels for homemade jam

There are some things you must know about preserving... canning.... jamming?? Whatever it is called, the process is filled with heart and back and wallet ache. My dad and I have made two batches of wild blackberry jam and one batch of blackberry-gooseberry jam. Every batch turns out to be a thick syrup (sigh). So for the nine cups of blueberries that I just picked we decided to use pectin, which we had not used before. Well, we doubled up the batch AND skimped on the sugar (after 13 cups we decided it was too much). Turns out, if you are using liquid pectin this is a huge NO-NO. We made 17 x 250ml jars of blueberry semi gelatinous plopping mush. It taste great but the texture reminds me of the gunk you accidentally touch in a haunted house on Halloween.

gooseberry blueberry sugar mush. The thorns on the gooseberries thankfully disintegrate.
So here we are. Many jars of jam behind us and many berries slowly dying in the fridge. After the liquid pectin was massively disappointing (yes I realize we did it wrong), we are back to just berries and sugar. Today we made 6 jars (ingredients: 6 cups berry, 6 cups sugar) of raspberry jam. Wow does it taste great. It is so fresh tasting. It almost quenches your thirst. This time we let it boil down for a long time, approximately 45min.  I think this is our best batch yet. It seems to have set up really nice. And, frankly, pectin is gross. It makes the jam artificial and cheap tasting, or at least the way we use it.

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