Saturday, October 9, 2010
Ode to Garden Huckleberry Jam
As the fruit mixture cooks it will form a foam on it. You have to stir it constantly, and be ready for the foam to boil up and over the top of the pan. It can be rather exciting. Pull the pan off of the burner to stop the foam from boiling over. You can control the heat a lot better by pulling it part way off the burner than you can by trying to use the heat adjustment knob - it's way too slow.
You have to realize that you really are making a candy or confection, rather than a healthy fruit treat. It will taste a lot better than store bought jams, but it is mostly fruit flavored sugar syrup. But tasty! :)
After it has boiled for 10 minutes you put it in hot, clean jars. I like to put them in the oven, and have it heated to about 180 degrees. This makes it very unlikely that the jars will crack when you put the hot liquid in them. You could probably add the hot liquid to cold jars and not have a lot of trouble, but if there is a tiny crack or flaw in the glass, and the bottom cracks around and falls out, you will wish that you had heated the jar first.
That is about it for jam. I had a lot of trouble getting this to work. It was hard to put in the amount of sugar that is called for in the recipes. So - measure everything. Some things in cooking you can be casual with your quantities - but in making jam it pays to make sure you have the right amounts. Make sure to boil the mixture for 10 minutes. If you don't, you might have a yummy fruit syrup, but you won't have jam.
That is about the extent of my experience. Good luck. Homemade jam on fresh homemade whole wheat bread.....mmmmmmmmmm