Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Jam Session with the Girls

First, if you haven't entered the giveaway (Give Oh Give Away)...there are still 2 days left. You know you want some of my homemade spice blends. They are so de-luscious. Okay...onto the Jam.
You know you want some jam on bread right now huh. I had the chance to get together with the sweet teenage gals at church and teach them about making jam. I work with another counselor named Stephanie. Yes, two leaders named Stephanie. Two Stephanies are better than one. In this case, the other Stephanie brought some homemade bread from her mom. I thought it looked awesome. Thanks Steph's mom.
We had some nectarines and plums cut up and ready to go. I adore the summer bounty.
You will need:
4 cups cut up nectarines, (about 2 lb or 9 nectarines)
2T lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1 box of fruit pectin (I love Ball)
We combined the fruit and lemon juice in a 6 Qt stock pan. Add the pectin gradually, stir constantly. You may add up to 1/2 tsp butter to keep it from foaming too much.

Isn't it a vision of loveliness?
The fruit must cook a little before mashing so I had the girls do a lot of the work. This helped them to not only see what the fruit would look like when it was ready to be mashed, but also gave me a chance to let someone else do the work. Tee hee.
Closely supervised, even a 6 yr old could mash the fruit. This is my friend's daughter. She was so excited to mash.
Once the mashed fruit/pectin came to a rolling boil that wouldn't stop boiling when we stirred it, we added the sugar.
Stir again until the rolling boil returns. In this case, I could also show the girls what jam would look like if we where not using pectin. It started to set right away.

If per chance you made jam without pectin, you would test it by the "sheeting method". The jam won't roll off the spatula or spoon like this...

When it is ready, it will hang on like this...
I put part of the jam in a bowl. Ummmm be sure to use a spoon that will not end up in the jam.

Yea, this jam was setting up nicely. In fact, it was dangling in pieces like this off of the bread.
This little gal liked a little bread with her jam.

If you aren't using the jam right away, but rather, canning it for the winter, see the canning instructions for lemon marmalade . They are the same for this jam. Plus there are pictures to walk you through the process. This will yield about 6 half pints (6 cups).

Delicious homemade Jam. There you go.


Goob said...

so I am totally intrigued by the fact that you left the skin on to cook. Did you keep it in the finished product too? and if so, what does it do to the sour-factor? ( I remember my mom making bottled plums one year and she left the skins on because she felt lazy and they were so sour they were inedible....but that was bottled fruit, not jam.)

Chef Tess said...

Great question Lisa! We used one cup of plums to 3 cups of nectarines, and they where sweet plums so it didn't really effect much to have the skin on. I imagine that when your mom bottled the plums she didn't use 5 cups of sugar to 4 cups of fruit either. If you did all plum jam, it takes 6 cups plums, 1/2 cup water to 8 cups sugar. Even then it's still a very high ratio of sugar to the sour plums.