Some summer preserving.... and my jam recipe!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I love this time of year.  The warm summer days beckon you to the outdoors at least until the heat chases you in again.  The sun-kissed washing dries in mere minutes on the line ~ almost before you finish hanging it out.  The evenings are so long & beautiful you can't help but be enticed to enjoy every second & as for the the food, who doesn't love summer food?    


One of our aims here at Sunnyside is to know where our food is coming from. Sure that's not always possible, but where it is we choose to use it.  We are blessed enough to live within an hour of a huge stone fruit producing area and since it's the peak of stone fruit season right now, we purchased a couple of boxes & did some preserving.   Peaches, nectarines, pie filling ( this was frozen before any photos were taken) & peach jam were all preserved  for our consumption throughout the year.  I don't own a pressure canner, but do water bath my preserves ( this does sadly  limit what I can do).  It was hot work, but always enjoyable & seeing the results lining the pantry definitely makes it worth it.
The nectarines & peaches ready for the year ahead.

One of my favourite things to make is homemade jam.  Besides the peach jam, I've made apricot jam this year. I also try & make plum jam & cherry jam to get us through the year ( I have plans on making these in the coming days). One day my strawberries will produce enough to make strawberry jam ~ in the  meantime we enjoy some that Corinne has made who has an amazing strawberry patch.

Yummy peach jam!
  
I thought I'd share with you today how I make my jam to encourage you just how easy it really is:




HOMEMADE JAM: 

Apricot, cherry & peach jam from my pantry!
The first thing I do is clean out my jars (Just old jars I've saved ~ check carefully for cracks & nicks before using them).  I then place them upside down on a tray & put in the oven at 180 degrees celcius (356 F) for about 20 minutes ( this kills the nasties in them).  I also boil the lids while they are in the oven.

To make the jam I use equal quantities of fruit (without stones) & raw sugar.  Begin by boiling up the chopped fruit with a little water ( whatever you think it needs to stew nicely ~ I use about half a cup for a large saucepan full of fruit). Stir to prevent sticking.  Once the fruit is soft add the sugar, a packet of jamsetta (this contains the pectin needed  for setting it) & a tbs of butter ( this helps reduce the foaming on top as it boils).  Bring to boil while stirring & boil for 10 minutes ~ keep stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. 

 To check for a set put a saucer in the freezer & when you think it may be set get it out & place a tsp of jam on it, allow to cool for 30 seconds & then push your finger through it ~ if it wrinkles it is ready to bottle, if not let boil for a few more minutes & test again.  

One thing I love about jam is that it doesn't need to be water bathed.  Just bottle ( careful ~ it is hot) & allow to cool on the bench top.  The lids will pop when they are sealed ~ if you cannot get a seal then put it in the fridge & use it straight away.    

Once you've made your own jam, you won't want to use the storebrought ones ever again.  Why don't you give it a go?
My peach jam
Have a bright & happy day
Blessings



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8 comments:

primitive ole frugal mumma said...

i love home made jam i just made a batch of Raspberry jam yummo, id like to give apple and raspberry jelly jam ago at some point , now im just waiting on the tomatoes so i can make some relish ,and green tomotoe pickles!!

Happy jam making..

Heidi.

Smilie girl said...

This looks so yummy and you make it sound so easy. I'm sure you will enjoy the spoils of your labour through the year!

Christy said...

oooh i love making Jam - but alas missed the raspberry season this year being up in QLD. it's true - i hate going back to storebought jam after experience DIY! my old glass jars are sitting there begging me....maybe i'll make a trip out to the strawberry farms and have a go at strawberry jam this year! xo

abba12 said...

Having only a water bath always limited me a lot, until I discovered dehydrating. I thought it was just for sultanas, dried fruit and veggie chips, but I've discovered it can be SO much more useful than that.

I currently have what used to be a huge bag of frozen corn, about 2kgs of beans, 3 bunches of silverbeet, and a couple kilos of carrots in my cupboard. They take up 5 spaghetti sauce jars. The space it saves is huge, but I can put a few spoons of anything into some boiling water and, with a few exceptions, it will rehydrate into whatever it once was, almost exactly. The nutrients are all kept, except for a couple of those that are lost during cooking anyway. The quality is high enough for most things that you could eat it on it's own as a side dish, and never know it was dehydrated, and mixed into sauce or stew etc you'd never know. The only thing you can't use it for is salads.

One of my favourite things right now is spinach. Once it's dry you can either put it away as is, and it will rehydrate into (wilted) leaves, amazingly. Or you can grind it to powder and use it in anything.

I would really recomend looking into it if you're interested in ways to preserve vegetables.

Deborah Jean at Dandelion House said...

It's so great you can take advantage of the nearby fruit supply! Your jam looks so yummy and easy too! Thanks for sharing with the farmgirls!
Deb

Selina said...

Hi Narn,
Yum!!! That looks totally delicious. I wish I was there to help.
We have the most incredible rain here at the moment.
Much love,
sel

Jenn said...

MMMM! I love canning jam! We are blowing through our winter supply right now!

Laura @ Laura Williams Musings said...

Inviting you the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog every Friday. Hope to see you there. Laura Williams’ Musings

The most recent edition - http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2012/06/carnival-of-home-preserving-13-come.html - open until Thursday 6/7.

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