Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Too much jam! Is that possible?

I've made just too much jam in the last week or two!  Is that possible though?  Is it possible to have toooooo much?  Well...we don't eat a whole lot of jam usually, but lately we've been eating much more than usual because its homemade and delicious.  I MIGHT not go back to store bought, but I'm not sure.  It all started a few weeks ago when we were at the farmer's market selling stuff and I wanted to go buy some strawberries.  Then, hubby said that he has a guy that he works with who has too many and that maybe we could go pick some!  So, after some arrangements we went over and we picked a whole lot of them!!!  YUM!!  And really, while I have good intentions, I'm not likely to eat them, which is disappointing.  So...I made some yummy freezer jam!  I did some searching online for a good freezer jam recipe, but some of the ones I found just used the recipes that were in the box of pectin, so that's the route I took!  (I found a neat blog about it, but I can't seem to find it now...disappointing!)

So, I got myself some pectin and some mason jars...(Oh. no.  not more mason jars!  .... nooo .... because I don't absolutely LOVE them and always want to buy more anyways .... shoot .... hehe) Note: because of all the jam I made I had to buy 2 cases of half pint jars. Oh no.... :)
Here is the kind of pectin I used, its just regular all natural blah blah blah...
Here are the oh so beautiful jars after I washed them... (p.s. I totally love these counters in this rental house-see the orange in the makes me so happy!)

Then, what you do is crush enough strawberries to get 2 cups (I don't have a blender or food processor, so I used a magic bullet type machine to crush them, it makes it more uniform and spready, only 5 pulses I think worked on each cup of berries).  We had enough berries to where I had to make 3 batches!!!  This is a double batch in this picture, but I can't remember which part in the process this was.  
Funny enough, the 3 boxes of pectin I got for the strawberries all had the same instructions in them, but the box I bought for the raspberries had a totally different insert.  I don't know why, it seems very weird!!  Anyway, for the strawberry jam, I crushed the strawberries then added the sugar (2 cups strawberries, 4 cups sugar, and one box pectin for each batch but it varies per fruit and stuff like that).  After adding the sugar, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then put water with your pectin in a saucepan and cook until it boils, let it boil for a minute then add to your crushed fruit/sugar mixture.  Stir that for 3 minutes then put into the jars and let it set on the counter-top for 24 hours.  My first double batch made about 13 half-pints, then another batch made about 7 more. So I've got about 20 jars of Strawberry freezer jam.  Is that right?  Wow!  
Here's the strawberry jam...yum!!!  
 After that turned out so good, hubby thought I should try some raspberry jam too.  So, I got some raspberries at the store.  (Someday, when we have our own house and property I hope to have my own berry patches and fruit orchard!!)  I got 2 18-ounce packages of these beautiful red raspberries at Sam's club and this is all that was left after I made one batch of raspberry jam.  Rest assured, they aren't lasting long.  I might finish up the rest with my breakfast today.  
So, I got the same box of pectin and this one had completely different directions!  Weird.  And with raspberries you have to have 3 cups of crushed fruit and 5 1/4 cups of sugar.  I thought it needed lemon juice, so I got some lemon juice too, but it didn't need it apparently.  So, you crush the berries and because raspberries have all those annoying seeds run the fruit through a sieve to get rid of the seeds otherwise it'll be annoying eating it.  (Note: I didn't do this until the pectin was cooking and it was too late, so I don't think it set up right because it sat too long.  But I don't know yet, the 24 hours isn't up yet.)  Set aside the berries then put the sugar, water and pectin in a saucepan and heat until boiling then boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat, add the fruit and stir for one minute then put in the jars, then let them set up on the counter for 24 hours.  Because I was still removing seeds, after I boiled it for a minute it sat there for probably 3 or 5 minutes waiting for me then I added the fruit and did the rest.  But it was still hot, so I might be okay, right?  Hmm...we shall see.  But with this batch of raspberry jam I made 9 half-pints of jam!!  YUM hopefully!!  
 After all that, you put the ones you wanna eat in the fridge then the rest in the freezer.  Both can last in the fridge for 3 weeks and a year in the freezer.  I'm wondering now if I should have used the directions in the other boxes for raspberry, but I wasn't sure if this particular box was formulated differently.  Oh well, its too late now.  I read on a different recipe that if it doesn't set up after 2 weeks you can put it back on the stove and cook it some more and that will fix it, but we shall see.  I'm excited to have too much jam!  Its really good on English scones.  YUM!!  What else should I use it on?  Toast...I've heard ice cream...and because I'm kinda weird, bread and milk....(wow, I haven't had that in a loooong time...)

Any other ideas???
Grand total jam count?  29 jars!!  Holy cow!  So yummy though!!  No regrets!
xoxo, c

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