JAM!

I have been wanting to try out my new canning pot since I bought it last weekend, and with the great deals on strawberries and rhubarb in season this weekend was the perfect opportunity.

Just look at those gorgeous berries!

Don’t even get me started on the beautiful ruby-red rhubarb.

I started out by washing, hulling and slicing the berries. I bought 4 flats and it took a while but it was worth it. I used about 2/3rd for the jam and put a little sugar on the rest and popped it into the fridge for later.

That made a LOT of berries. That’s my big green bowl, filled past the brim!

Next I washed and chopped the rhubarb. It’s a pretty fibrous veg so I wanted to make sure that it was cut up well. Look at that beautiful interior.

The rhubarb is much tougher than the berries so I popped it into the pot first, with a cup of sugar to cook down a bit.

Meanwhile I put the empty jars in the canning pot and let them heat up.

Mix in the berries and give it a good stir. Bring to a boil and add in your sugar.

Add in your package of pectin (helps you achieve a nice jelly like consistency)

Juice a whole lemon into the pot and mix everything well.

Add in a little pat of butter to reduce the amount of foam. Trust me, it’s a needed step!

Boil it again until it is done, usually about 13 minutes at a rolling boil.

Use a spoon to skim off as much of the foam as you can, its ok if you can’t get it all, but if you want a nice clear jam its a necessary step.

It’s actually quite tasty, the foam.

Carefully take the sterilized jars out of the hot water and fill it nearly to the top with hot jam. Wipe of any jam that gets on the lip of the jar. Place a new lid on the jar and screw on the neck rings. Carefully put the jars back into the canning pot with some tongs.

Cover the pot, crank up the heat and when it comes to a rapid boil let her go for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit for a few minutes more.

Carefully remove the jars and let them sit on a rack or some towels overnight. You’ll hear a little chorus of clicks as the jars cool and the lids seal themselves. The next day label your jars with the contents and date canned. Any that have tight seals will keep in your pantry until needed, any with compromised seals can just be put in the fridge and eaten within a week or two.

Beautiful AND delicious! It requires a bit of time, but not a lot of effort. Next up is raspberry, peach and something spiked with real vanilla bean. I’m thinking golden raspberries. Later this summer I am trying pickles again! Take advantage of all the great seasonal produce out there. Its so totally worth it.

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