Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pop! Goes the jam jar!

Today was a day off for me.  Though I have mountains of school work I need to do, I still need to maintain my sanity.  Today, that sanity came by way of jam-making.  I was going to wait a couple weeks before doing that, but a pint of terrible strawberries sped up the date.

So that pint plus a small bag in the freezer wound up to be about 3 cups of strawberries.  The recipe on the Pectin box called for six and a half cups of rhubarb for plain rhubarb jam, so I added what I guessed to be another three and a half cups of chopped rhubarb... plus maybe another cup or two.  I'm really bad at measuring things, which is pretty important when making jam, so don't follow my lead on that. 

That's what you call a rollin' boil
Here's what else I put into the pot:

2 cups of water
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 cups sugar
one packet of Pectin

I got the fruit to a rolling boil first, then added the Pectin.  Once it was boiling again, I added the sugar.

Meanwhile, you gotta wash those jars, and wash 'em good.  And then boil 'em.  (This includes the double lids too.)  Like this:

Once the fruit has boiled for at least 4 minutes (that's what the directions say), turn off the heat and start ladling them into the jars one at a time.  Leave the jars in the boiling water until just before you need them.  This does get a little hot, but doing it all on a towel and using that to screw on the lids prevents sad fingers.

I put the filled jars back into the pot of boiling water and boiled them for 10 minutes.  I usually don't do that and it's fine, but the pot was just sitting there so I did it just to be sure they were good and sterile.  They all gave the much sought-after "pop" as the lids sealed, a sure sign of a future of a long shelf life.  Success.

And there you have it.  I put in more fruit than the recipe called for, and it looks like the jam is going to end up being a little runny.  I don't really care because it tastes awesome.  And now I have nine jars of delicious strawberry rhubarb jam.  Anyone want some?  There's plenty more where it came from!

Ruby red

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