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Friday, January 8, 2010

Mixed Berries Jam/Preserves and a Dessert

When life gives you berries, make preserves :) Phew.. I didn't know it was so easy to make jams or preserves at home. The process is fairly simple unless you are planning to do the canning process to preserve them. Even then I wouldn't say it is cumbersome if you can get the canning jars ahead.
To contradict my previous statements, it took almost 3 weeks to make this jam and another 3 weeks to take pics and publish it. Thinking what the hell this girl did for 1008 hours(I had to take the help of calculator get this I bought the berries and put it in the freezer for couple of days. Oops, it is not part of the recipe but I was just waiting for the auspicious time to make it (am pretending that I am not When I bought Pectin and made the jam, I realized that I almost made 4-5 Kissan bottle size jam(people who do not know what Kissan Jam is please click here), which means I don't have to buy jam for the next 6 months. Wow, but it was not easy to keep them longer. So I had to devise a new strategy to preserve it. This new process required something called canning or preserving jars. Since I didn't even know how it looked, I did a Cut + Paste of the jam from the sauce pan  into an airtight container and locked it in the freezer. To my dismay the jars were not available in the local super market and Walmart. A week later, I found them in 24 hrs Walmart in Virginia when our tour bus stopped(We were off to Tennessee & Virginia on a Chinese Bus Tour) and let us do some Thanksgiving shopping. When we got back home, I was terribly tired and since I knew that my Jam was safe in the freezer I further delayed the canning process. But at last, on one fine evening I took the canning jars out and finely did the preserving process. So this explains why I took 3 damn weeks to prepare jam. But when this was over I didn't find any time and energy to click picture or write a post. Hence it took another 3 weeks to get this out of my drafts.

Source: This recipe is inspired from the Sure Jell Pectin box and from various sources on Internet.

[yields 4-5 jam bottles (Medium Smuckers or Kissan jam bottles) ]
Cranberry - 12 oz
Raspberry - 12 oz
Blackberry - 6 oz
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Sugar - 5-7 cup 
Water - 1/2 cup
Sure Jell Pectin - 1 box

For the Dessert:
Ritz Salt Crackers

How to make it

Crush the berries using a potato masher or a spatula.
In a thick bottomed sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of water, crushed fruit, lemon juice. Stir and let it cook on a medium flame for 20 minutes.

Add sugar (I have added 5 cups, you can add or reduce as per your taste buds) and stir it well. Let it boil for another 10 minutes. (Sure Jell Pectin recomments 8 cups of sugar for 1 box of pectin)

Slowly add pectin while stirring. Mix it well. You can see that the fruit mixture starts coagulating. On a low flame cook for another 5-10 minutes until it gets into a jam consistency.

The Canning process is really simple. I promise to come back with a step by step procedure to explain this process. Please give me some time to procure another set of jars from the store.

Step 1: Buy Canning/Preserving Jars
Step 2: Boil water in a huge Saucepan, when it just hot enough (should not boil), dip the bottles (without the lid and band) and sterilize them. Remove it immediately and wipe them with clean towel. Ensure that the jars are dry. You can also place the jars in Microwave for 10-15 seconds to dry or warm them. This also prevents the jar from breaking.
Step 3: Using a ladle or spoon fill the jar with jam leaving 1/4 inch of head space and immediately close it with the lid and band.
Step 4: Dip the bottle in the boiling water and let it stay for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let it stay in a cool place for 24 hrs.
Step 5: After 24 hrs, to confirm if you have the done the canning process perfectly, do this simple test. Press the center of the lid with your finger, if it does not flex up and down you are good to go, but if does flex up and down and you hear the cracking noise of the lid then re do step 4 or put them in the refrigerator.
Step 6: To be on a safer side, I have put the canned jars in my freezer :)

For the Dessert
   Take 1/4 t.spoon of RV's Jam and spread it over the Ritz Crackers. Close it with another cracker and your Sweet and Salty Sandwich Cracker is Ready in minutes. I will give 10/10 for this instant dessert I made.


Unknown said...

My next project is to make something like kissan mixed fruit jam after trying orange, apple, mango and pomegranate jams. This sounds like a great recipe as well. love the deep color! looks perfect Radhika!

Nithya said...

Yummmmmm.. absolutely yummm :)

Rachana said...

Dear Radhika,
The preserves are too tempting and beautiful clicks too:) I loved the deep colours..
Happy Weekend,
Rachana Kothari

? said...

Looks beautiful Radhika! Time to bring jam recipes to the workshop!:-)

Spice said...

Perfect jam radhika....never done canning but do freeze my strawberry preserve some time......

prasu said...

wow...........lovely clicks dear....perfect the color....soooo yummm.

Simplyfood said...

Amazing you are so adventureous.Your jam looks awesome and the pictures very professional.

Priya Suresh said...

Looks fantastic..gorgeous clicks Radhika..

Padma said...

Just love the pictures Radhika. Looks so yumm and very tempting.

RV @ Food for 7 Stages said...

Thank you ladies.. your comment makes me feel better when I am tired and worn out..

Cool Lassi(e) said...

What a great way to make preserves at home. Love it. Will certainly give this a try after i come back.

Hey, I have something waiting for you at my space.Please check it out.

Rachana said...

Dear Radhika,
I have an award for you...please collect it.

Preethi Rajeev said...

Radhika loved the click and will surely make. My little one loves preserves and i willbe happy to give him this as iknow what iam adding to this.

LifenSpice said...

Hey Radhika, You have a nice blog here! Lovely pictures. Thanks for adding me!

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