I suck at jam.
I don't think that I have ever successfully made a batch of jam. I follow the directions exactly. I have tried multiple recipes from multiple books, and NEVER do I ever get jam. I get ice cream topping. Seriously. The recipe says to cook for 30 minutes or until it sets - I cook it for two hours and it never sets. If I based my self esteem on my ability to make jam, I would be in a lot of trouble right now.
Anyway, I ended up with 6 half pints each of strawberry and strawberry rhubarb ice cream topping. I also like to use it with some Greek yogurt. If anyone wants to teach me how to make jam, I would pay you back with pickles. I'm really good at pickles!
If you are interested in shopping where I shop, and hanging out with my farmers, please come check me out at the South Shore Farmer's Market on Saturday, August 17th. I will be giving a cooking demo at 9:00 am. I don't know what I'm going to make (it depends on what will be there that day), but there will be samples! The after party, like last year, will be at the the Great Lakes Distillery. The Tasting Room opens at 11:00, and the first tour is at 1:00.
Kate's Strawberry Ice Cream Topping:
(This recipe originally comes from my Put 'em Up book where it is called Classic Strawberry Jam. Which I guess I'm assuming means it's really safe for canning - even if it isn't safe for jam.)
(Makes about 3 pints)
- 3 cups strawberries, hulled and halved if large
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
Transfer the mixture to a large nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring and crushing the fruit regularly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the jam reaches the desired gel, about 20 minutes. (Alternately, cook for 2 hours while cursing at it to be jam already, then give up, can as is, and tell your friends and blog readers that it's ice cream topping and that you meant it to be that way.)
If you are canning using the boiling water method, process in half pint jars for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, remove the cover, and allow the jars to sit in the water for 10 minutes. And, while you may hope it does, this process does not make the contents of your jars any jammier.
Strawberry Rhubarb "Jam" like liquid
(Originally called Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, from The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and other Sweet Preserves)
(Makes about 3 pints)
- 1 large lemon
- 2 pounds strawberries, hulled
- 3/4 lbs rhubarb stalks, cut into approximately 3/8 inch cubes
- 4 1/4 cups sugar
Remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium-high and boil the jam, stirring and skimming off the foam, until a drop mounds on a chilled dish, or until you are crazy tired and can't remember why you even bothered to do this. It's not like you like jam that much anyway!
Fish the bag of seeds out of the sticky mess, and wonder why the F you put them in there. They clearly didn't do anything. This would also be a good time to reflect on the wisdom of choosing these two recipes that didn't have any store-bought pectin in them, when you've never had a jam or jelly set in your life.
Ladle the jam into pint or half pint mason jars. Add lids and rings and process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.