Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Canned Fruit Jam

Melissa and I do not eat jam a lot. In fact, it's very infrequently when we do. It's not because we don't like it; it's because it's not worth buying from the grocery store.

Now, when you make your own fruit jam, well, then I'll eat it by the half-pint full.

Strawberry, blueberry, peach and tart cherry jams. All in a summer's work.
This is the first year in quite some time that we picked our own strawberries, and with the dwindling number of local you-pick strawberry farms around, we ventured out to Basse's (in Colgate, Wis.) for the first time. In about an hour and a half, we managed to pick about 30-plus pounds of delicious strawberries.

This was the second year we bought Georgia peaches from Tree Ripe, a company that ships fresh, in-season Florida and Georgia fruit to Wisconsin and Illinois. June and July are the only months they operate, so you have to act quickly. We bought 1/2 a bushel, which is about 25 pounds.

New this year (to Wisconsin) from Tree Ripe were Michigan blueberries. They are available in July in 5-pound boxes. We bought two.

We wrote about how we ended up purchasing 27 pounds of tart Door County cherries. Although we did a lot of things with the cherries, the main way we used them was to make jam.

With all of that, on some weekends our counters ended up like this:

The process is pretty simple. Take the fruit, either whole or cut, and cook it down with pectin until it boils. Then add sugar and bring to a boil again. After that, proceed with canning.

As you can see, we made strawberry, peach, blueberry and cherry jam. And apple season is upon us, so we might make apple jam, too.

Did you make any homemade jam this summer? What kinds?

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