Monday, July 26, 2010

(Blueberry+Rhubarb)-Recipe=BLUEBARB JAM

This was my first solo jam making experience, and to kick off the whole ordeal I decided to immediately break a commonly heard rule of canning, which is that you should not double a recipe. Maybe it worked because I did not follow a recipe to begin with. I had extra pulp from canning blueberry juice, and some rhubarb from work, so the solution was obvious: Cook that shit up!

First off, I have been skeptical of making jams, on account of the insane amounts of sugars that are called for in most recipes. Fruit is already sweet and tasty, why would I want to make it too sweet and less tasty? Then I met low-methoxyl pectin. Basically, this type of pectin gels through a reaction with calcium, not sugar, so your jam may have as little or as much sugar as you please. This pectin comes with a calcium powder which you mix with water and add to the fruit. If you need it to gel more, you add more calcium water, if it is too gelled, add more fruit. Breakin' it down simple style.

What you need:

4 Cups chopped rubarb
4 Cups smashed blueberries (pulp from steam juicer is le bomb)
1.5 Cups Honey ( More or less depending on your taste buds)
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
4 tsp. low-methoxyl pectin
4.5 tsp. calcium water

What to do:

-Heat rhubarb in a sauce pan with one cup of smashed berries and lemon juice, to let the rhubarb cook down a little bit.

-In a separate bowl, combine honey and pectin, stir well, and set aside.

- When rhubarb is soft, add the rest of the berries and calcium water, then let mixture slowly come to a boil. Once boiling, add honey/pectin mixture and stir well. Test gelling by placing a small drop on a cold plate and putting it in the freezer for a minute. This will show the consistency of your finished product once it has cooled. If it is an acceptable gel, remove jam from heat. If unacceptable gel, add more calcium water or fruit to increase or decrease gel.

-Fill jars (mine filled approximately 4 pints) to 1/4 inch from top, and make sure lip of jar is clean. Place sterilized lids on jars, and process in a boiling water bath for about 10 minutes.

-Remove from water bath and place somewhere to cool. Listen for the tings of success to ensure you have a nice vacuum seal! If it fails to seal, just eat it right then and there, with a spoon on your porch.

This jam is perfect for curing peanut butter's loneliness, just introduce the two on some sliced bread and let them mix it up. Also, it is good pals with chocolate ice cream and is probably still on speaking terms with vanilla ice cream. I hear it kinda has a thing for biscuits, but you didn't hear that from me.

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