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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Farmstyle jam...

We have friends in Texas with land. Not like a stamp sized piece of earth in the city with brick fences or walls. They have 5-acres. Land. This land has trees, and grass, and woods, and...well--lots of places of discovery. While walking the property with our friends, I look up and discover they have Mulberry trees! Lots of them! What a joyous discovery to find that on one's own land is a bounty of harvest for something you can eat and sustain yourself with!

So we picked mulberries and made jam. But the recipe below can be used with any fruit you love, like those 99-cent packs of blackberries that go on sale, or strawberries, or anything!
I call this 'farm-style' jam. There are no packs of gelatin, no thermometers, nothing like that. So you have to be flexible with your results. Some jams will be thick and other will be 'softer' but all--delicious!
This makes about 2 small jars. Which is just enough for a few weeks time, then make some all over again!

  • 4 cups of fresh fruit, we used Mulberries
  • 3 small apples, peeled, then grated on a cheese grater (apples have natural pectin, and add body plus help it to jam best)
  • 1 cup of water
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup sugar (use white, or raw, or honey, or a blend of all)
Place all ingredients on a non-metal saucepan with a lid. Cover and cook on medium as the fruit begins to soften. As its cooking, smash and mash the fruit (this process is about 10- 15 minutes of cooking). When all the fruit is broken down and softened and mashed, raise the heat to medium high and let the pot bubble and cook with the lid on. Be very careful not to let it burn! Place a spoon in the freezer for testing the jam. After it cooks for about another 10 minutes, you should see that it is thickening up. Dip your frozen spoon in, and the jam should begin to appear thick right away as it cools on the spoon. When it does, its ready. It thickens more when it cools. Remove from heat and using a canning funnel, or a spoon (being very careful--its HOT) spoon the jam into clean glass jars. Lid and let cool on counter. When cool store in fridge.

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