Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Berry Jam

During the summer, all of the fresh berries go on sale. I'm a sucker for fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Sometimes I get a little bit too greedy and buy more than I can eat. They end up sitting in the fridge and getting soft, mushy, and even moldy. Rather than throw out the berries, there is a solution to be able to eat them (as long as they're not too moldy)! Make some homemade jam!

Making jam is simple. There are very few ingredients, and lots of ways to use it! Jam is a great way to utilize many types of leftover fruit. The composition of each fruit differs, which can affect the texture and color of your jams, but do not be afraid to experiment!

Summer Berry Jam (makes 1 quart of jam)
1 lb Fresh Strawberries
6 oz Fresh Raspberries
1 pint Fresh Blueberries
6 oz Fresh Blackberries
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Apple Juice 
1/4 cup Honey

1. Cut the greens off the strawberries, and cut them in half. Put into a pot that is big enough to hold all of the berries. Place other berries into the pot as well.
2. Pour sugar and apple juice into the pot with the berries.
3. Place pot on the stove, and turn the stove to low heat. 
4. Allow the jam to cook for about 1.5 hours, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Make sure you stir the bottom so that the berries do not burn.
5. Test the viscosity of the jam by spooning a small portion onto a plate and cool. If the jam is runny, allow it to cook longer.
6. As you test for viscosity, taste the jam. If you want it to be sweeter, add the honey until you are satisfied with the flavor. Stir in the honey.
7. When the jam is cool, move it to a bowl or casserole dish to cool.
8. After the jam has cooled, transfer it to a container to store. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Jam has many applications besides on toasted sandwich bread in the mornings. Use it as a topping on French toast or pancakes for breakfast, or in some sandwiches for lunch (think wheat bread, turkey, brie cheese- toasted! Or try sourdough, chicken breast, provolone cheese). You can even cut 3-inch circles out of pie dough, place some jam in the center, brush the edges with a little egg, seal with a fork, and bake at 350 degrees F until golden to make turnovers for dessert! Experiment with the jam and comment with your experiences!

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