A Jammin good time…

29 Jun

so this last weekend we did our usual Farmer’s Market shopping, and ended up getting a whole bunch of fruit- two flats of raspberries, another of strawberries, a couple of mangoes, nectarines, peaches… Lots of fruit. And since I need more freezer jam… This is the result!
   

Oh, and after the mini disaster with the freezer last week (emergency defrost of the freezer downstairs, don’t ask), we also had two huge bags of re-frozen cranberries, chopped apples and a bag of rhubarb that had to be used. Through em all in a pot and made a kind of Apple Cranberry conserve kind of thing, properly canned and everything! Lol. No pectin necessary for this one, it gelled on its own just find.

 
Anyway, back to the jam… For me I made a batch of Mango Pineapple Banana jam, sweetly tropical flavored, and some Peach Melba (peach/nectarine and raspberry). My sister is on the diet where sugar is a no-no, so for here we made enough of the Melba for a batch for her but used stevia to sweeten. As it turns out, with the Ball brand RealFruit Insant Pectin we use, the Stevia sets up to a very firm gel, better than the sugar does. 

Then we also did a “mixed berry” spread for her, starting with one of the jars of Apple cranberry, and adding strawberry and raspberries. Turned out really good! Hope she likes it, as there are three jars of it for her 😉 We got the blue kids and screw caps to easily distinguish her Stevia sweetened jams from my more traditional sugared ones.

In the interest of saving the info for later reference, here is what we used;
Peach Melba-

For the fruit mash, it was about two thirds peaches and nectarines, and a little over a third of raspberries. I think the actual ratio is less important than how much of each fruit you have and what needs to be used first, lol. Even a small amount of berries seems to flavor the peaches nicely, but I prefer more berries in mine. 

One note- we used a couple of peaches that were still rather hard. My old fashioned heavy wire potato mashed didn’t so much as crush these as kinda rough chop them. I might resort to the cuisinart food processor if I did that again. The fully ripe ones mash well though, so ideally I would use the squish owe ripe ones. But you use what you have… Lol

For the sugared version, I used the following ratio;

5 cups fruit

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons pectin
For the Stevia sweetened version, a small batch-

1 2/3 cup fruit

1/4 cup Stevia

2 tablespoons pectin
Actually, I mixed them both and portioned them out so we could compare side by side the two jams. Oddly, I kinda like the stevia better. It highlights the fruit more without being too sweet. And there is no aftertaste like stevia often imparts.

Anyway, for both, I mix and mash the fruit in one bowl, adding the lime juice (usually use lemon, but we got a bag of seconds limes that were really good and sweet, perfect for this!). In a separate bowl I scoop in the sugar/stevia first, then add the pectin on top, and mix with a fork, being sure to break up any lumps. This is important, because any lumps in the sugar and especially in the pectin are hard to stir out later.

Then I dump the auger mix into the fruit and give it a quick stir to incorporate, then set the timer for three minutes. Stir, stir, stir, scraping down the sides occassionally for those full three minutes to makes sure it all dissolves!

Once that is done, pack it in your jars, wait at least an hour (I usually leave em on the counter over night), check to make sure they gelled the way you wanted them to, and freeze!
Believe it or not, this is about ones year’s supply of jam for an my pb&j sammiches 😉

  

Around 20 jars of summer fruit goodness 🙂 I’ve got strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, , raspberry, peach Melba, mango pineapple banana, and some mixed fruit from the old fruit in the freezer… May still do some blackberry when that comes into season, and am picking black-cap raspberries now that might end up in a jar, but all in all a good start for the year!

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