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Friday, August 16, 2013

Jam Making Foray #3 - Gooseberry Strawberry Jam

I had never had gooseberries before.  

So it was when we went berry picking on the farm with some friends who - in addition to, and after, grabbing as many blueberries and raspberries as we could all carry - also wanted to see about picking some gooseberries.

I wasn't immediately sold on them, but after sampling a few in the fields, I was surprised at how crisp and juicy they were.

So I picked a couple handfuls.  Not much, I know, but enough to make a small batch of jam.

Well, when it came time to making jam I realized that I had barely enough berries for even one jar.  At this time, I had some strawberries going bad in the fridge, so I decided to add them, and go instead for Gooseberry Strawberry Jam.

It wasn't much, and in fact - because I was dealing with a small scale production, or perhaps because I had become an expert by now (this was my third jam making foray, after all!) - this batch of jam didn't take long at all.

Puréed the strawberries and the gooseberries.

I believe the single longest part of this foray was de-stemming the gooseberries!

Then I started the whole thing cooking.  No spices this time.  Just fruit.  :)

My jars (I figured two would be enough) were sterilizing, and my berries were cooking.

This batch was particularly bad for the foam.  Worse than the others.  But it got skimmed.
(That's right, I SHOWED that foam!)

When the jars and my equipment (trusty ladle and funnel) were ready (sterile), I added the calcium water and the pectin.  Again, the ratio is 1 teaspoon calcium water and 1 teaspoon pectin for every 2 cups of fruit.

One thing to note, I chose to use brown sugar today.  Just thought it would complement the berries nicely.

It did.

When the jam mixture was complete and fully mixed, I poured them into my jars.  I ended up having enough jam for two small mason jars, AND a little left over that I just put into a tupperware and put in the fridge to be used immediately.

The jars, however, got sealed and then thrown back in the boiler again for 10 minutes.

Seems like a lot of work to go to for only two (and a half) jars of jam, but it actually wasn't very difficult and not nearly as time-consuming as my previous two jam making forays.

All in all this probably took less than an hour, including clean-up.

And I got more JAM!

Muah hah hah ah hah.