Jamming …

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Here I sit watching The Bachelorette, as Ashley is picking and choosing her way through all these wanna-be husbands (or at the very least lovers)… I am thinking she seems to be in one jam and then another.  Well that has me thinking about — Blackberry Jam!  I have no idea what-so-ever made me think of jam but I am also dreaming of biscuits and jam, oh, now that sounds like something I can sink my teeth into!  I love making jelly and jam so today I will share a little of the recent jam I was in!

Last summer I froze several bags of berries and now before we start picking this year’s crop, I need to clean out the freezer.  This is the perfect time to make jam.  It only took about an hour, a little sugar, a box of Sure Jell (apple pectin) and 7 pint jars with lids.

Here is a run down:

5 cups crushed blackberries

2-½ cups sugar

One box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin

½ tsp. butter or margarine

  1. Fill canner, or extra-large pot, with water, bring to boil and let simmer.
  2. Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water, rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan, let stand in hot water until ready to use.  Drain well before using.
  3. Prepare fruit: For blackberries – crush 1 cup at a time, using a potato masher or food processor.  Do not puree, use the pulse button, as jam should have bits of fruit.  You will need exactly 5 cups of crushed fruit and place into a 6 to 8 quart saucepan.
  4. Mix ¼ cup sugar with 1 box of Sure-Jell.
  5. Stir pectin-sugar mixture into the fruit.  Add ½ tsp. butter or margarine to reduce foaming.
  6. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil.  This is a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred.
  7. When at a full rolling boil, stir in remaining sugar quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly one minute, stirring constantly.  Beware – this is the moment when some of this delicious boiling syrupy jam popped up out of the pan and onto my hand.  Ouch.
  8. Remove from heat, skim off any foam.  I didn’t have any foam when I added the ½ tsp. butter, but you may have a little bit.
  9. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of the top. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands on finger tight. (Not overly tight, too tight and the lids will crinkle – this I know from experience )    Place jars on elevated rack in a canner (or large pot). Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches.  Add boiling water if needed.  Cover; bring water to gentle boil.
  10. Process jam for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove jars and place upright on a towel or cooling rack.

At this point you have three significant events yet to happen:

  • As the jars cool each lid that seals will make a “pop” sound.  It is lots of fun to listen for the popping of each one of the jars.
  • Let stand at room temperature 24 hours.  Next significant moment is when you open up a jar and see that it is in fact “jelled” and the consistency of a good jam.
  • And lastly, when you spread that delicious homemade jam on your favorite biscuits, bread, pancakes, or peanut butter!

Store unopened jams in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year.

Refrigerate opened jars.

Proverbs 19:23   The fear of the Lord leads to life: The one rests content, untouched by trouble.

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