Friday, June 25, 2010

Tigress Can Jam - Easy-As-Pie Sauce

I had great plans for this month, intending to create some exotic new pantry items, particularly blueberry ketchup. But then I thought...would I even want to eat blueberry ketchup? Maybe... maybe not...

The last of the rhubarb from the farmers market called to me. "you know you want to - it is your favorite - and there will be no more till next year...". There were just a few (a precious few) new ripe currants on the tiny currant bushes in the front yard. (really I will move them to a better sunnier spot, I saw the currant bushes over at C's house today and they have left mine in the dust. She has pints of currants, not spoonfulls!)

All in all, an awful lot of shilly-shallying about what to can, and what can I say but... Strawberry-Rhubarb - I'm a fool for you!

Easy-As-Pie Jam
12 oz rhubarb

12 oz sugar

12 oz strawberries

2 T fresh currants

¼ t cinnamon

zest of one orange*

juice of the same orange


*please do use a homegrown or organic orange
The day before, cut all the rhubarb into small dice, then mix it with the sugar, and let it sit overnight in the fridge, which draws out the juices.

Bring the mixture to a boil in the morning, then let sit in fridge till home from work.

If the strawberries are big, cut them into halves or quarters, mix into the rhubarb, along with the currants, cinnamon and orange parts, and again bring to a boil and then leave in the fridge till the next day.

just after adding the strawberries etc.
Set everything up for canning, bung the jars into the canner to pre-heat and sterilise them, and start boiling the delectable mixture. It took about ten to fifteen minutes for it to get to a very soft set, and then it is fill up the jars and process for 15 minutes...

yield - six 4 oz jars

By repeatedly boiling the fruit briefly, it seems to take less time overall, and can-jamming during a workday schedule is much easier. The final canning part took less than an hour.

Using some currants to add pectin is making me very happy; it is one more thing that can be homegrown. The texture is somewhat quite a bit softer*, but since these various canned fruits most often get added to plain yogurt as a flavor treat, or sometimes baked with a shortbread crust to make jam cakes, there is no need for super-firm consistency.


Here are the jars, tucked under a teatowel
on the countertop, cooling down gradually


* the next day, I did a taste test, and with this quantity of currants, it is more of a thick sauce than a jam. Not a problem for me, of course, but if jam you want, more currants would be a good idea...

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