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Filtering by Category: jam

Strawberry Mint Pepper Jam

Sarah West

Source: adapted from recipe in Mes Confitures by Christine Ferber

1,000g local strawberries, picked in June, washed, hulled and frozen
800g sugar
juice of one lemon
10 mint leaves, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Day 1: Thaw strawberries (~12 hours). Add sugar and lemon juice to berries and gently toss in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Day 2: Pour macerated fruit mixture into a large pot and boil gently for 10 minutes. Return to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Day 3: Strain berry juice from berry solids. On medium heat in a wide flat pot, bring berry liquid to a slow gentle boil until mixture reach 221 degrees. Skim foam. Add berry solids and boil gently for another 5 minutes. Continue to skim foam.
Fill sanitized jars with jam using funnel. Cover with clean new lids heated in very hot water and screw on rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Test lid for seal.

Deep Spice Berry Jam

Sarah West

adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving (2004 edition)

makes 7 half-pints

5 cups mixed berries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon five spice powder
7 cups sugar
1 package pectin
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (commercial or homemade*)


  1. Combine the berries, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, and five spice powder in a non-corrosive pot and put on medium heat. Crush berries with a sturdy potato masher. Raise heat to high and add sugar, stirring it in completely. Cook on high for one additional minute then remove from heat. Let pot sit for a few minutes before adding pectin. Add pectin by sprinkling on top of mixture, stirring to prevent lumps. 
  2. Stir in vanilla extract. Ladle mixture into hot half-pint jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Check for air bubbles. Wipe jar rims and close jars with hot lids and bands. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. 
  3. Store cooled jars in a cool, dark space for a few days to let flavors mature.


* Homemade vanilla flavoring: split and scrape 4-8 vanilla beans into a small tall bottle. Place scraped pods in bottle as well. Cover with a good quality vodka. Store in a cool, dark place for at least one month before using.

Vanilla Pear Jam

Sarah West

adapted from Perfect Preserves by Nora Carey
makes 1½ quarts

This jam is sweetened by the natural sugars in the pears, and fruit juice. No additional sugar is required. It is perfect over pancakes, French toast, or waffles, or use it to top ice cream or pound cake. Served with a biscuit and whipped cream, it makes a fun fall shortcake.

5 pounds pears
grated zest of 1 lemon plus 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 quarts unsweetened apple, pear or white grape juice 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise


  1. Peel, quarter, and core the pears. Chop the pears into small cubes and toss them in a bowl with the lemon zest and juice. Set aside.
  2. In a preserving pan, combine the fruit juice of your choice with the vanilla bean. Reduce the liquid by half over moderate heat. Remove the vanilla bean from the reduced juice.
  3. Add the pears and their liquid to the juice and bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat. Cook the jam, stirring frequently, for 30-40 minutes, or until the jellying point is reached.
  4. Spoon the jam into warm sterilized jars and seal. Process jars of jam in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let cool. Check the seals and store up to 1 year.

From the recipe collection of
Hillsdale Farmers’ Market Chef Kathryn Yeomans
The Farmer's Feast http://thefarmersfeast.me/

Spiced Plum Butter

Sarah West

4 pounds Italian prune plums
2 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves


  1. Pit and quarter the plums and put them in a heavy 4-quart pot. Add the sugar, the cinnamon stick, and the cloves. Stir well and let sit overnight or for 8 hours.
  2. The next day, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the pot, un-lidded, into the oven and cook for 2 hours, stirring the mixture occasionally.
  3. Sterilize the glass jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  4. When the plums have broken down and the liquid has reduced to a thick jam, remove pot from the oven and fish out the cinnamon stick (if you can find the cloves, fish them out too).
  5. Puree the jam with an immersion blender until it resembles a fruit butter, and then fill the sterilized jars with the hot puree, screw on tops and process in a boiling waterbath for 10 minutes. If you prefer a jam with discernible chunks of fruit, however, don't puree the jam; simply ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars.


Sarah West

Tart green apples are an excellent and easily-accessible natural source of pectin, and can be boiled and strained to produce pectin syrup that will help set preserves of fruits that are low in their own natural pectin, such as peaches, cherries and strawberries. Though it is best to use fresh green apples at the beginning of their ripening (as this is when they have the highest pectin content), this time of year we can still utilize the last of the storage apples to make slightly diluted pectin syrup for our summer preserves. This year’s batch of green apples won’t be available until much of our summer fruits have passed.

The pectin made from this recipe can be frozen in one-cup increments to use throughout the summer, or stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Green Apple Pectin
(From Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff)

Makes approx. 3 Cups
3 pounds Granny Smith Apples
6 cups water


  1. Cut the apples into eighths, removing the stems, and put the apples—peels, cores, seeds, and all—in a 6- to 8-quart preserving pan. Add 6 cups water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely broken down and the peels have separated from the pulp, 30-40 minutes.
  2. Set a large, very-fine-mesh sieve (or jelly bag) over a deep bowl or pot. Pour the apples and their juice into the sieve and let drain for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally but not pressing down too hard on the solids; discard* the solids and you should have about 5½ cups of juice.
  3. Rinse the preserving pan and pour in the apple juice. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the juice is reduced to about 3 cups (pour it into a large heatproof measuring cup to check it), about 20 minutes.

*The reserved apple solids may be pressed through a food mill using the disk with the finest holes to create a tart applesauce that can be frozen or used right away in quick breads and cakes.

Strawberry Jam

Sarah West

This jam recipe is adapted from Perfect Preserves by Nora Carey. I like the intensity of the strawberry flavor that this recipe produces, as well as the way it sets up – whole berries in a soft jam.

5 pounds strawberries, hulled
5 cups sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice


  1. In a large shallow bowl, sprinkle half the strawberries with 1 cup of the sugar. Add the remaining strawberries & sprinkle with another cup of sugar. Cover and let the berries stand at room temperature overnight.
  2. The next day, transfer the berries to a colander set over a preserving pan and let the juices drain into the pan. Stir the remaining 3 cups sugar into the pan & cook the juice mixture over low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Bring the syrup to a boil & add the reserved strawberries & lemon juice. Boil the mixture 5 minutes. Remove the strawberries with a slotted spoon back to the colander set over a bowl.
  4. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes, or until reduced slightly. Add any strawberry juices that have accumulated in the bowl & continue boiling to reduce the mixture by the amount added.
  5. Add the berries to the syrup once again & boil for about 5 minutes, or until the jellying point is reached (220 ̊ F). Remove the pan from the heat and allow the jam to stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Spoon the jam into hot, sterilized jars, seal, & process. Makes 1 ½ quarts

From the recipe collection of Hillsdale Farmers’ Market Chef Kathryn Yeomans The Farmer's Feast http://thefarmersfeast.me/