Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jam

Homemade jam reminds me of my childhood. My mom used to make jam every summer. I remember spending hours upon hours (or so it seemed) stirring jam over the hot stove when it was 100 degrees outside. I never thought I would make jam as an adult. I mean, you can buy it at the store and it tastes fine, but not nearly as good. Now I can't imagine buying jam. If you've never tasted homemade jam on homemade bread fresh from the oven, you are missing out. And I should have you over for some.

If I'm going to go to the effort of making jam I want it to be as healthy as possible. I have an amazing recipe that uses only real fruit and real fruit juice. No sugar or pectin. Just good ol' fruit. This is an easy recipe that doesn't require anything fancy other than a big pot. 

Blueberry Apple Jam
Ingredients
6 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
13 cups blueberries (you can buy 13 cup bags in the freezer section at Costco
2 cans (each 12oz) undiluted frozen unsweetened grape juice concentrate, thawed

Directions
2. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine apples, blueberries and grape juice. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently while mashing fruit, until mixture thickens, about 60 minutes. Remove from heat and test to see if it is the right consistency. If not, boil for 5 more minutes and check again.
3. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot jam. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. 
4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. 

Notes: I found my canner at the thrift store. It didn't come with the special rack that makes it so the jars don't touch the bottom of the canner. So, I just put a bunch of canning rings on the bottom and they work great.

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