With the arrival of berries, July is the time of year that pastry chefs dream about. After picking them by the bucketful, try your hand at learning about preservation and making delicious jams and jellies.
Nervous about pulling your Grandmother’s old canning equipment out of storage and pretending you know what pectin means? Worry not! Specific berries naturally produce their own pectin (a jelly setting agent), so the biggest consideration with this method is time. Using the recipe below, 30 minutes or less can have you producing your own thick and sweet jam that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
1 pound fresh berries (blackberries, raspberries or strawberries)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 lemon, zested then juiced
1 tsp salt
Cut berries into large chunks. Don’t worry about bruises because they will only enhance the sweetness.
Place fruit, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in a 2-quart, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
As mixture heats up, take a fork and slightly mash berries.
Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
Continue to boil until fruit is thick and jam-like. This can take up to 20 minutes.
Briefly stir jam with a metal spoon.
Draw a line in the jam with your finger. If it leaves a distinct track, the jam is done. If the jam runs back in on itself, continue cooking and try again in a few minutes.
Once the jam is thick enough for your liking, remove from heat and carefully pour jam into containers and let cool.
The jam will last in the refrigerator for three weeks, and up to four months in the freezer, making it one of our favorite recipes!