I don’t know if I have a reason to be as excited as I am that I successfully made jam for the first time. I could say that it’s because I’ve also never tried jam of any kind until this evening and that not only did I discover that the jam I made was delicious but that jam itself is actually pretty awesome. Yeah, I think that’s probably it.
After watching Ina Garten make strawberry jam on her show, Barefoot Contessa, I decided that despite the fact that I have never wanted to consume jam before in my life, today was a great day to make jam. Although I will probably finish this post in the first few hours of january second, this will actually be my blog for the first day of the year 2011. Last year flew by and although I do not partake in the tradition of making new years resolutions, I think that personally I would love to see myself more involved in this blog. Writing new posts on a regular basis but also maybe even changing the format of the blog and limiting the things I love to the ones I will be more inclined to be dabbling in while I’m away at school with little to no time on my hands, i.e., food and movies, or food, movies and wine.
So anyways, I wanted to make strawberry jam like Ina but upon arriving in the produce section of the store I realized that strawberries are not in season in january and that I would need to pick another delicious berry to use in making jam. So raspberry jam it is!
I used Ina’s Easy Strawberry Jam recipe as my guide and chose to use raspberries instead of strawberries and things turned out pretty great.
So just start out with 3 pints or so of raspberries. Make sure to clean them really well and then add them to a dutch oven with superfine sugar and any orange liqueur. Ina recommends Grand Marnier and trust me I considered it but unfortunately my budget doesn’t allow for splurges on fancy liqueurs so I just went with the next one down which was a tad less expensive but not by much. Anyways, stir the raspberries, sugar and liqueur together so the sugar is coating the raspberries then turn up the heat and get your raspberries to a nice boil. After the raspberries reach a boiling point, add half a granny smith apple and some blueberries and let the goodness begin.
So it says in the recipe to use a candy thermometer to check the temp of the fruit to know when it’s done but I just left it on medium heat for about 30 ish minutes stirring occasionally and I was very happy with the results. Once the jam is done, skim off any foam that may have started to form on the top of the fruit and remove the pot from the heat and let cool to room temp. If you are planning on canning this amazingly yummy jam then just follow the directions that come with the canning jars you can buy at the store. Ina says in her recipe, that the jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks so I decided to buy mason jars to put the jam in, even though I wasn’t planning on canning them, just so I could have a cute little jar to present the jam to my friends and family with. I decided to take it a step further and found some blank labels online and printed them out and taped them to the outside of the jar as well.
After making this tasty jam I do feel that it would be very correct for me to say that I see myself making jam a lot more throughout the year, especially when more fruit starts to become in season. You don’t have to be a pro at making jam to successfully complete this recipe so give it a try!