Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mixed Berry Jam

The whole point of growing boysenberries was to taste them in a context other than pie or jam.  They have a short season, so it's like when cherries are available, how you get sick on them for a month because you won't have a fresh one for another year.  When I was only getting a couple of handfuls of them a year, this was great.  They garnished a salad and a few bowls of oatmeal.

This year's bumper crop made it obvious why the jam is a thing.  I simply can't eat them all, when half a cup ripens every two days.  So I hoarded up a week's worth and bought some blueberries and strawberries on sale to make a composite jam.  That's something I've never had, so it still counts.  Also, it was the week apricots were at their cheapest and it seems a shame to set up a canning pot for one batch of jam.  When I realized I hadn't bought cherries yet this season, the whole thing kind of escalated.  I had to buy more jars, and got these cool half-pint wide mouth ones.  If I'm ever able to schedule my annual tea, there's going to be a crazy array of jams.  Mid-June, and I haven't even set a date.  I hate being under-staffed.

1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
*12 oz aggregate berry such as blackberry, raspberry, or boysenberry
6 oz blueberries
4 C sugar
2/3 C lemon juice
*1 Tb powdered pectin

1.  I tend to cut the more firm berries in half, to make them break down easier, but you can put them in whole.  Mash the blueberries to break the skin.  You don't have to get every one, like with regular blueberry jam, since the other berries will help them along.
2.  If canning, start your water bath and sterilize jars for a 3-pint yield.  Stir together all ingredients in a wide pot or deep skillet.  Heat over medium-high to boiling.  Continue to boil and stir frequently until thickened, cooked, and starting to sheet, at least 20 minutes.  I forgot to look at the clock.  If may have been over half an hour.  Skim off any foam as you go, so you can see the jam underneath.

3.  For canning, process jars for 10 minutes for jelly or half-pint jars, 15 for pint jars.  For refrigerated or freezer storage, cool to room temperature before putting lids on the containers and storing.

Makes about 3 pints

Difficulty rating  :)

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