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Archive for the ‘Jam’ Category

Raspberry Jam

One of the well-kept secrets about jam is you can make it without cooking the jam over a stove (and this method is generally far easier to make than its cooked sibling!) Cooking raspberries transform their colour from a vibrant red to a more subdued burgundy. It can also often mute the raspberry flavour. So in our era of freezers, no-cook raspberry jam is a delicious alternative to the more traditional stovetop method.

While I am partial to strawberry jam, my mother and sister absolutely adore raspberry jam. (Dare I admit that I have caught them spoon in hand over an open jar?) Unsurprisingly, there is always a jar of this jam ready to open in our freezer. While the consistently is sometimes a little runnier than its cooked counterpart, its vibrancy never fails to win over converts.

Bonus: As the prepared raspberry jam is stored in the freezer and fridge, there is no risk of botulism, so no need to sterilize jam jars like for cooked jam!

 

No-Cook Raspberry Jam

Makes 6 1/3 cups jam

 

Ingredients

4 cups washed and crushed raspberries
3 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 box CERTO Light Pectin Crystals

Appropriate number of jars, rings, and lids (either three 2-cup jars or six 1-cup jars). If the berries are particularly juicy, an extra jar may come in handy!

 

Directions

Place crushed raspberries in large mixing bowl.** Combine CERTO light pectin crystals with ¼ cup of measured sugar. Add to prepared fruit.

Let stand 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the remainder of the sugar and stir for 3 minutes.

Pour into clean containers filling up ¼ inch from rim. Cover with lids. Leave at room temperature 24 hours until set. Store unopened jars in freezer for up to 8 months. Once jars are opened, store in refridgerator.

**If you want to reduce the number of seeds in your jam, strain half the crushed raspberries pulp through a sieve before measuring crushed berries.

Bon appétit!

 

– Catherine

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As a kid, my family would go strawberry picking in July at a nearby farm. Our family would arrive in a multiple car convoy, with my grandmother leading the way. Each grandchild would be handed a basket and unleashed on the fields. We would spend the next few hours contently picking berries. More often than not, the majority of berries we picked ended up in our stomach rather than the basket. Our more disciplined parents and grandparents had more success in actually picking berries, so we would return to our cottage with mountains of ripe, juicy strawberries.

The challenge was to do something exciting with all these berries. Our family was always up for the challenge – we froze berries whole for later use in the summer, we whipped up frosted strawberry desserts, we baked numerous strawberry pies, and we cooked enough strawberry jam to last us the year. We lived in strawberry heaven for a few weeks before raspberry season arrived!

Today, the farm has been converted into a golf course, but we continue to jam using strawberries from the Farmer’s Market. Making jam is not particularly time consuming or difficult. The trick is in making sure you follow directions for the pectin crystal and avoid any risk of botulism by properly sterilizing jars and instruments. There are a variety of pectin crystals on the market – my mother really likes CERTO light because it is one of the few that uses more fruit than sugar.

Hulling the strawberries

Hulling the strawberries

Your fingers, counters, and bowls are at risk of being stained by the strawberry juice, so I recommend hulling berries over newspaper and using a dark colored or metal bowl to crush the berries. As for the jam pot, note that the jam will nearly double in volume while cooking, so be sure it’s large.

Sterilizing our jamming instruments and transforming our crushed berries into jam!

Sterilizing our  instruments and transforming our crushed berries into jam!

The fresh jam is delicious on breads, but also over icecream or eaten straight from the jar with a spoon!

 

Strawberry Jam

Makes ~8 cups of Strawberry Jam
 
Strawberry Jam
 

Ingredients:

6 cups washed, hulled and crushed strawberries
4 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 box CERTO light pectin crystals

Appropriate number of jars, rings, and lids (either four 2-cup jars or eight 1-cup jars). If the berries are particularly juicy, an extra jar may come in handy!
 

Directions

Sterilize jars by placing them in the oven at 225oF for 10 minutes. Keep warm until filling time. Boil utensils in a pot of water for at least 15 minutes and lids at least 5 minutes before use.

Place crushed strawberries in a large saucepan. Combine the CERTO light pectin crystals and ¼ cup of the measured sugar. Add to strawberries.

Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the remaining sugar. Return to a rolling boil (i.e. one where you cannot stop the pot from boiling when stirring hard) for 1 minute. The jam will nearly double in volume at this point and start spitting. It is also highly susceptible to burn at this stage, so continue to stir hard!

Remove jam from heat. Continue stirring jam for 5 minutes. During this time, skim foam off jam.

Pour jam using sterilized utensils into warm sterilized jars to ¼ inch from rim. Cover with lids and screw rings on tightly. The jars should seal overnight. Occasionally, one does not, so store it in the fridge and eat this jar first.
 
NOTE – this is the 2013 CERTO Light recipe – they occasionally change up the crystal formulation, so be sure to follow whatever recipe is listed with your pectin crystals.

Bon appétit!
 
– Catherine

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