Saturday, September 29, 2012

I Be Jammin! Strawberry-Plum Jam

It's a busy weekend in my kitchen. Not only am I preparing my meat for my tamales, I am making my first jam. I saw this recipe in the Food Network magazine and decided to give it a try. The only problem is, this recipe only filled three 8 oz. jars! Luckily I had won the clearance fruit lottery at our grocery store yesterday and acquired 3 lbs of plums and 2 lbs of strawberries. I am going to make another batch.  I also scored some great meat deals like boneless pork ribs and a ton of apples for .79, the same as the plums.

Back to the jam. I got a great deal on the jars since it's considered the end of summer veggie canning season around here. I washed the jars in soapy water (both the lids and tops) and sterilized them in hot, not boiling water. I also sterlized the tongs and the lids in a smaller pot. That makes it easier to fish them out. I drain out the water from the lids and have them ready to go. Avoid touching the lids or the inside of the jar.

My fruit I started last night and have some more going in the fridge right now. I found a large zip loc bag works well for this. I diced all the pieces, added the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. It says to let the fruit sit for 6 hours.
This morning after another trip to our local Hispanic grocery store for some last minute spices and a chicken, I started the jam in a cast iron skillet. The directions say to add 1/4 honey and cook on medium high heat for about 30 minutes. While that was cooking I kept my jars warm in a water bath. This reduces the risk of breakage. Every few minutes I stirred the jam. It was on a medium high heat. I didn't use pectin in this recipe. It reduced and thickened on its own.

After 30 minutes the jam was ready to go in its' jars. I filled to right below the line and then processed them in boiling water. The water should cover the lid of the jars and boil for 15 minutes. You also have to watch out and make sure there is no jam on the sides or around the mouth of your jar.

I got to sample some (chefs' treat) and it tasted delicious!

I will now leave the jars to sit out over night to complete the sealing process.

Skillet Strawberry-Plum Jam via the Food Network

1 lb strawberries hulled and diced
1 lb plums hulled and diced
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 honey

Add the first 4 ingredients and let meld together in a zip loc bag for 6 hours or over night. Add the diced fruit to a skillet along with the honey and reduce on a medium high heat for 30 minutes.Give it a stir every 5 minutes or so.  Add with a ladle to sterilized canning jars. Let cool overnight to seal. Serve with your favorite bread. 

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