This is my summer of firsts for canning 🙂
Considering the only thing I had ever canned before is some grape jelly with my Mom last year (or was it the year before?) pretty much everything is a first for me!
I decided to go with the Pomona’s Pectin because I wanted something that I didn’t have to add an armload of sugar to. I looked at the little pamphlet of recipes that comes with it to figure out what to do. I decided I will start with basics and if it works then I will look for more exciting recipes 🙂
I had two possible recipes that I was thinking of following and they called for either 3 or 4 cups of mashed berries. I have no clue what that translates into for non-mashed berries. So while I was at the wednesday farmer’s market I asked the guys at the booth where I was buying the blackberries how many I needed for 4 cups of mashed berries to make jam. They asked me how many pints I was doing… ummm.. I don’t know – I didn’t look at how much the jam would make. So they didn’t know and I didn’t know.
I took my best guess and I purchased a beautiful tray of three looking forward to making some blackberry jam!
I decided to go with the “low sugar or honey” recipe in the pomona’s packet and proceeded to get the berries mashed to get my needed 4 cups.
But, I only ended up with 3 cups of mashed berries. Hmmmm, what should I do.
I scanned over the Pomona’s pamphlet again and found that the recipe for “Cooked All Fruit” Blackberry Jam only called for 3 cups of mashed fruit – guess I am going to make that one now!
*Note – I remembered this time how LONG it took my pots of water to boil to sterilize my jars and then to process my jars – so I turned my big pots of water on about 1/2 hour before I started “making” the jam.
I put the mashed berries, lemon juice and calcium water in the pan on the stove and started stirring.
In another smaller pot I started to bring the juice concentrate to a boil.
Once it boiled I poured it into my blender and added the pectin and blended for a little over a minute when it looked like all the pectin was dissolved!
I then brought the berries to a boil and added the pectin blend I had just prepared.
At this point I removed the berries from the heat and removed my jars from their hot water! I am so happy for the canning set my Mom got me last Christmas with the lid lifter and jar lifter and funnel – necessities for canning and not burning yourself!
I poured the jam into the jars and actually remembered to release air bubbles and wipe the rims this time (even though the recipe didn’t specifically direct me to do so – go figure….).
Then I processed the jars for 10 minutes in boiling water as directed!
Out came beautiful jars of blackberry jam – and once again the sweet *ping* of canning success made me do a little happy dance and giggle!
And I am never one to waste if I can help it, so I scooped out the remainder of the jam that didn’t go into the jars and enjoyed it on a piece of toast!
Here is the official recipe I used from the Pomona’s packet if you want to give it a go:
Blackberry “All Fruit” Jam
3 Cups mashed fruit
1/4 Cup lemon or lime juice
1 Cup juice concentrate (white grape, apple)
2 teaspoons pectin powder
2 teaspoons calcium water
Step 1: Sterilize Jars
Step 2: Prepare berries & measure fruit into pan with lemon or lime juice
Step 3: Add proper amount of calcium water (prepared per directions in pamphlet) from jar into pan and stir well
Step 4: Bring 1 cup juice concentrate to boil in separate pan. Once boiling put in blender and add pectin powder, vent lid and blend for 1-2 minutes until powder is dissolved.
Step 5: Bring Fruit in pan to a boil. Add pectin-concentrate mixture. Stir 1 minute while cooking. Return to boil and remove from heat.
Step 6: Fill jars to 1/4″ of top. Screw on lids. Place in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let jars cool. Check seals – lids should be sucked down. Lasts about 3 weeks once opened.
Now I have a canning question for anyone who might know. When it says to fill jar 1/4″ from the top I understand that is so if it expands, etc it will not explode. But if you only have enough let to fill say 1/2 of the jar, is it still fine to do that and process it, etc????
*This post was shared on Real Food Whole Health: Fresh Bites Friday on 8/26/2011!
*This post was also shared on The Nourishing Gourment Pennywise Platter Thursday 9/8/2011!
*Posted on my Gather Page 9/13/2011!
PS – I will be doing my first review and giveaway of a product SOON! Keep an eye out 🙂