I just started watching “New Girl” on Netflix last night. As in literally last night, while I was simultaneously trying these difficult wall exercises from Shape magazine. Jess’s “Jam-boree” shirt at the end of episode two reminded me that I have a “Jam-boree” of my own to share.
Adventures in jam making
Last year, coming off of another summer berry purchasing spree, I got it in my head to make jam. Blueberry jam. Cherry jam. Because honestly, how hard could it be? (Don’t laugh). I remember a particularly overcast July weekend where I watched Captain America and made jam. It’s a unique combination of events, forever paired in my memory. The cloud cover made me feel not so terrible about turning on the stove and boiling water in the middle of the hot Phoenix summer.
Of course, I overcooked my jam, my canning jars were too big for my pots, and nothing sealed properly. What a waste of precious summer berries!
Determined to fix my mistakes and prove that I am, indeed, domestic enough to make my own jam, I purchased “Food In Jars”. “Food in Jars” turned out to be a delightful tome of well tested recipes with delicious photos. By the time I read the book, it was November. Not a fresh berry in sight.
Enter this summer and a wonderful raspberry crop. I followed Marisa’s recipe almost completely, until I ran out of sugar with one cup of it to go. My biggest concern was for the set of the jam, which was runny at first. About one week after canning though, the jam set nicely. The lower sugar content makes this raspberry jam just sweet enough for morning toast and tart enough to add contrast with served with a creamy cheese and crackers.
No plans this weekend? Go ahead and make some jam. I made five 8 oz jars of raspberry jam on a Monday night. Just make sure you have the right amount of sugar first.