That, right there, is a picture of a beautiful thing.
My mom gave me a bright orange stock pot at Christmas to go with the rest of my orange kitchenware. She knew I was going to use it as a canner. It looked a little…off but I shrugged and put it aside.
I’m finally hitting the bottom of my ‘sandwich friendly’ jam-I’m not eating firestarter with peanut butter. I got the pot out, and realized what was funny looking about it is that it’s narrower than the rest of my pots (which means it fits enough on my completely functional, smaller burner that I can avoid the wonky larger burner) and what it lacks in width it makes up for in height-so I’m not flooding my stove at a full boil when I can pints.
So yes, welcome to canning season 2015.
*A berry recipe with a hint of vanilla. Add a splash or two of bourbon and let me know how it works out. I bet it would be lovely. I did use a full 2 quarts of berries-split between black, blue, and strawberry. Use what you can find. I bought berries when they were cheap at Aldis and froze them until I had time to pull them out and get them cooked down.
**This batch gave me 4 quarter pints and a half pint jar. Remember that water content, humidity, how long you let the fruit cook down, and other factors will impact output-but that was my jar count for a baseline.
Spring Berry Jam
2 quarts mixed berries (frozen is fine, or fresh that’s frozen until you have a full amount-I waited until berries went on sale at Aldis)
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla (real, preferably, not imitation)
1/4 cup lemon juice (mainly for flavor, berries are acidic enough to can without it-but to ensure acidity, use bottled lemon juice)
In a large saucepan, bring fruit, sugar, vanilla, and lemon to a hard boil. After 10 minutes of boiling check for gel by placing a plate in the freezer. Place a small amount of jam on the plate and freeze for 30 seconds. When you can run your finger through the jam and it holds it shape without running together, it’s gelled.
Fill jars and process for 10 minutes using a boiling water canner. Or, you can freeze the jam for up to one year.
I did BWB process these jars. If you are not familiar with how to boiling water bath process food for canning, please make sure to read over a source like the Ball Blue Book or the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Canning is not particularly difficult, but it’s also not a process that you should take lightly. This recipe assumes you know the basics of boiling water bath canning. If you are not comfortable with canning, this recipe can be stored in the freezer for 1 year.