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It was a weekend full of jam. We picked raspberries, picked blueberries and grabbed strawberries at the farmer’s market. I made raspberry jam and mixed berry jam and blueberry jam.

Raspberries were picked at the bottom of the hill at Cole’s….that’s pretty much as close as we can get beside our own yard (and yes, we’re working on that).

This was how it looked crushed in the pot with low sugar pectin added….. I then added 4 cups of sugar (yes, that is the low sugar recipe) and brought it up to a boil. Jars were sterilized, filled, water bathed and then……

here is the finished product —yum. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you start to can for yourself. Store bought just doesn’t cut it — no matter how expensive or fancy it purports to be. There is nothing that beats local and handmade.

The mixed berry jam was a first since it is not often that you can find local fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries all at the same time. It was definitely a hit…..delicious. I’ll be scouring around looking for more local strawberries in order to take advantage of the berry season.

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Photo by Tyler Heffernan

Photo by Tyler Heffernan

Well, all those raspberries we picked on Sunday were turned into jam on Monday. The raspberries were beautiful. We picked 24 pints and used 20 in the 20 jars of jam that we made, leaving 4 to pick on which made Tim just so happy.

Photo by Tyler Heffernan

Photo by Tyler Heffernan

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of freshly washed raspberries.
  • No Sugar or Low Sugar Sure Jell 1 1/2 packages
  • 4 cups of sugar

Process:

  1. Mash 8 cups of raspberries with a potato masher. Mash leaving larger pieces of fruit for a chunky jam. DSCN5013
  2. Put fruit and 1 1/2 packages of Sure Jell (Low Sugar) pectin into a saucepan. Make sure that the pan is significantly larger than you need if you have never done this before because it will froth up quite a bit during the boiling process.
  3. Bring fruit and pectin mixture to a boil. Boil until you can no longer stir down the boil – ie- it is still boiling as you are stirring.
  4. Add the 4 cups of sugar. Stir occasionally until it returns to a boil (again, a boil that cannot be stirred down) and let boil for approximately one minute. A good test is to take a clean spoon that is cool (run it under cold water) and then dip into the mixture. Pull it out and see if the cooling jam will stick to the spoon. If it does then the jam is good and will jell properly when cool. If it slides off the spoon add the other 1/2 package of pectin, bring to a boil again and boil for one minute. Repeat spoon test.
  5. Pour mixture into clean, sterilized jam jars. DSCN5015
  6. Wipe rim of jars and then place gasket and seal. Put all jars into a water bath for 10 minutes plus 5 minutes for altitudes over 1000 feet. Altitudes over 2000 feet add additional 5 minutes for each 1000 foot increment of altitude.
  7. Remove jam from canner. Allow to cool. Check seals. If lids are not secure, repeat water bath to properly seal jars.

DSCN5016

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