Monday, January 21, 2013

Berry Citrus Jam


Can I tell you how much I LOVE this jam! This is my personal favorite right now and has been for almost a year since I started making it. I got the original recipe from Embellish blog but of course did some tweaking of my own. So here goes!

Prep Work:

Fill up your canner and get the water boiling. This always seems to take a long time for my stove, so I do it first thing. Now if it boils before I am ready, I just turn it off and cover it. Then to start it re-boiling is really easy and fast.

You will need to wash the jars and sterilize them. I found that one batch makes about 7 half pint (8oz) jars.

To sterilize them I put them face down in boiling water for 10 minutes.

While they are sterilizing you can get going on the jam and just take a minute when they are done to put them on a towel on your counter.

You will also need freshly squeezed lemon juice. I show you in this post how I juice and store lemons.

The last thing you will need is orange zest. (or basically tiny pieces or orange peel. My sister bought me this nifty tool that made the zest the perfect size. The recipe calls for 1 TB of zest, I found that one medium size orange gives you about that much, maybe a little more.

  The Process:

In the recipe you will use 1 part blackberries to 2 parts blueberries. So I used 2- 6oz containers of blackberries to 4- 6oz containers of blueberries. As a note, I have done a 1:1 ratio (3 containers of each) and that is delicious too, but you have a lot more little seeds from the blackberries to deal with. It just depends on your taste!

Rinse them well and pick through to make sure you get rid of the bad ones. This may look like a lot of berries to you because I actually doubled the recipe for my batch. -It really is that yummy!

The original recipe says to mash up the berries, but I prefer to blend mine. So blend away!

Pour the blueberry mush into a large pot.

Blend the blackberries and mix that in with the blueberries. I love the blackberry color. Sorry these pics were so bad, but I was trying to can, take pics, and all the help I had was my 4 year old daughter (who's pink jacket you can see is this picture!)

This is the point that you stir in the pectin and cook.

It is about this time that I like to boil the sealing caps. You just need to boil them for a few minutes, or longer. It is pretty flexible.

Mix in the sugar, zest, and juice and cook some more. (Sorry again for the blur!- ahhh)

When it is done cooking, set it off the burner. You can scrape off the foam that forms on the top. It makes the jars prettier because you don't have this weird foam layer on the top when you open them. I have found that if you let the berry mixture sit for a few minutes (maybe 5-10 minutes) that the foam is so much easier to scrape off. You can see that right here. It just came right off so easily!

Next is to pour the jam into the jars and fill with a 1/4 inch allowance on the top.

Wipe the lip clean so that the cap will adhere and seal.

Take the lid out with one of these nifty magnetic tools.

Place it on the jar and screw on the outside ring.

Place them in your boiling canner for 15 minutes.

Take out the jars and place on your counter. You will start to hear the magical sound of popping as the cans seal. You can see that the jar in the middle back has already sealed because of the indentation in the center! I leave the jars there overnight to cool and then check to see if any didn't seal in the morning. I had one that didn't, so that means it is the first to get eaten! Yeah!!!

Open up a jar and get munching! You will love how it tastes! It is great on sandwiches, toast, and a personal favorite, waffles!

It is worth every minute you took to make it... trust me! (p.s.- Beware of giving jars away, you will get requests for more! :)
The Recipe:

Berry Citrus Jam

Yields: about 7 half-pints
Ingredients:
4- 6oz containers of blueberries
2- 6oz containers of blackberries
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
5 cups of sugar
1 package pectin
Directions:
Blend the berries. Combine with pectin in a large pot and bring to a  boil, stirring frequently. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in the orange zest and lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Fill hot jars with jam leaving a 1/4 inch space at top. Add the sealer cap and ring cap. Place in boiling canner for 15 minutes. Remove from canner and leave on counter to cool. Enjoy!

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