Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Freezer Jam

On Monday, I took the kids to Neal's Berry Farm to pick blackberries and buy some local Texas peaches.  When I walked into the farmer's market, one gentleman remarked,

"My, you sure are brave!" 

I knew he was referring to the four kids I had in tow. 

I replied, "Well, I hope so, either that, or I might be stupid!" 

But you know what?  The kids were fine.  The blackberries were very plentiful, and thanks to my 4 little helpers, we picked 9 pounds in 1/2 hour.  No pics, though, was enough to manhandle them in the farmer's market trying to pay for the berries and 10 pounds of peaches.  That's when my pickers turned into little misfits, looking into the coolers, the ice cream bin, the candles for sale, etc.  Geez...  But the lady running the stand was so sweet, and wasn't fazed all all, thank goodness. 

So, what did I do with all that fruit?

Well for starters, I made 6 jars of this (just 2 showed up for the photo shoot ;-)...

Peach Freezer Jam with Lemon

And 6 jars of this...

(I know they look identical, but this one is a bit chunkier peach and lemon, with the addition of crystallized gingerDavid went to Penzey's and got some for me--thanks honey!). 


I also made a few jars of this...

Blackberry Freezer Jam with Lime

Instead of using lemon juice per the pectin box directions, I used lime juice and added lime zest (from 2 small limes).  The combinations is unexpected, but lime really brings out the flavor of the berries.  It works well with blueberries too, and in a cobbler, it's divine. 

Rebecca was my official taster...we both thought the peach jam was REALLY good (not that the blackberry jam wasn't).  I just followed the directions on the CERTO liquid pectin box, (they sell it at Walmart) making sure to use the full amount of sugar per batch.  Last time I made strawberry freezer jam, I tried to use 1/2 the amount of sugar, and the jam didn't set.  Lesson learned!

I used the zest of one medium lemon per batch because I like more lemon flavor than just using lemon juice, and about 2 ounces of crystalized ginger per batch for the peach ginger jam.  The ginger adds a tiny don't taste it at first, but it creeps up on the back of your tongue, and you'll feel a little warmth going down your throat...just enough to make you think, "Hmm...what is that?" 

The first 2 batches of peach jam, I used a potato masher to crush the peach slices after I'd blanched and shocked the fruit to remove the skins.  The next 2 batches, I chopped the slices up...and there wasn't much difference in texture...the 2nd batch was just a bit chunkier.   So if you want to make your own jam, I'd say mash the fruit because it goes faster than chopping up the peaches. 

After all that jam making, I still had enough fruit to make Light Peach Cobbler and Light Blackberry Trifle with Limeso check out those posts too.  I hope to have the recipes up by the end of the week. 

I hope you are eating up some summer!  God bless your table tonight!

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