Bumbleberry Jam (less-seeds)

Of all of the jams and jellys that I have made - and the number is legion - my all time favorite is bumbleberry.  Bumbleberry?  What kind of berry is that?  What is it?

I'll tell you.

It is summertime in a jar.

I love berries.  All kinds of berries.  This time of year, here in Connecticut, the raspberries are ripe and they are everywhere!  My kiddos are used to me always having some kind of container in the car and shrieking calmly observing, "RASPBERRIES!" as we drive along.  At this point I quickly   frantically calmly and safely pull to the side of the road (if you have ever been to rural CT, you know there are no "sides" or "shoulders" to the roads) and pick a few.  

I think I get this from my mom. One of her favorite (and mine) things was hot biscuits, slathered with butter, doused with home-canned blackberries.  You eat it with a spoon.  Then you lick the bowl.  Twice.

This jam is reminiscent of that.  It is a combination of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and rhubarb.  You can add other things.  I have added strawberries or peaches before - but this is my favorite combo.  I do use more fruit that sugar in my jams.  I didn't used to, but I really like the fruit to shine.  It does here.  I also puree the berries in my food processor and them smash them through my chinois.  This is totally optional.  I just like fruit more that seeds - thus it it is less seed jam as opposed to seedless jam.  Get it?

Bumbleberry Jam (less-seed)

2 cups rhubarb, cleaned and chopped (about 3-4 stalks)
5 1/2 - 6 pounds berries and fruit (my favorite is blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry combo) - you will have around 8 cups of pureed/mashed fruit
4 Tablespoons low-sugar pectin (this is more that 1 box, about 1 1/3 boxes)
5 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter

Prepare your hot water bath canner, jars, lids and rings.  This makes 12 half-pint jars plus a partial pint for the fridge.

Place your chopped rhubarb in a large pot.

Mash or puree and mash and strain and have a good time with your berries.  You should end up with about 8 cups of berries.  Give all of the seeds to your chickens. What? You don't have chickens yet?  Why?

Mix all of the fruit and rhubarb in a large pot.  

Mix your pectin and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a small bowl.  Add this to the fruit, along with the pat of butter, and bring it to a rolling boil.  Stirring frequently.

Once the fruit is at a full, rolling boil, add the rest of the sugar all at once.  Stirring constantly, bring back to a full rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and skim off any foam that has appeared.

Fill the hot jars with hot jam, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top.  Wipe the rims and top with the hot lids.  Tighten the rings to fingertip tight.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Remove to a towel draped counter and let cool.  You should hear the pings of power very soon.


Vanilla Peach Bourbon Jam

 I am so behind on posting things on my blog.  I don't know if any of you care, but I am having a hard time remembering how I made certain things.  I find the pictures, but I don't always write down the ingredients thinking that "I will remember".  


I need a rememberall (see Harry Potter series for the reference.)

So, I have decided to go from the most recent moving backwards in time.  We'll see how that works.

I am still on my canning kick.  It is summer. Produce is fresh and plentiful.  What can I say?

Ridgefield Organics and Specialties Market http://www.ridgefieldorganics.com has started to sell my jam and jelly. This is so exciting!  It is a small store here in my town of Ridgefield, CT.

Those are my products on the counter.  Too cool. I'm calling them "It's all good - homemade goodies"

This week, I made Vanilla Peach Bourbon Jam.  Peaches are ripe and fragrant. My taste buds are doing a happy dance.

I have had some "questions" and raised eyebrows about my choice to make stuff with alcoholic beverages. *sigh*  Here's the deal - I cook the alcohol out.  Yep.  It is fine for kiddos and Mormons and all.  As a matter of fact, did you know that vanilla extract is, at a minimum, 35% alcohol.  That makes it 70 proof.  Bourbon had 40% alcohol, and I boil it twice.  Wine has between 8% and 20% alcohol, and I boil it at least twice and reduce it.  So, unless you tea totallers are using a vanilla bean in your uncooked frosting, ice cream, pudding, milk, whatever, don't judge.

Done with rant.

Here is my recipe for Vanilla Peach Bourbon Jam.  This made 8 1/2 half pints.

Vanilla Peach Bourbon Jam

3-3 1/2 pounds peaches
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 limes
2 Tablespoons good vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean split and scraped (use the seeds)
1/4 cup (1 mini bottle) bourbon
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 box (3 Tablespoons) low sugar pectin
pat of butter (optional)

Prepare your jars, lids, and your hat water bath for canning.

Mix the pectin with 1/2 cup of sugar and set aside.  Mixing it with a little sugar helps prevent it from clumping when you mix it with the fruit.

Juice the limes, you should have about 1/4 cup of lime juice.  Put this in a large pot.

Peel, slice and mash or puree your peaches.  I pureed mine in a food processor because I wanted a smoother jam.  You should have about 5 cups of peaches. A little more or less is fine.

Add the peaches to the lime juice and stir it up.  This will help the peaches from discoloring.

Mix in the pectin.

Bring the peach mixture to a light boil.

Add the bourbon, vanilla, and almond extract and pat of butter (this keeps it from foaming as much).

Bring the mixture to a hard boil - one you can't stir down.

Add the remaining 3 cups of sugar all at once.  Bring the mixture back to a hard boil, stirring frequently.  Once the mixture is at a hard boil, boil for exactly 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Skim off the foam and let your kids eat that with bread as a dip.

Ladle the hot jam into hot jars.  Wipe the rims of the jars and place the hot lids and rings.  Tighten the rings to fingertip tight.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Remove from the bath and let the jam cool on a towel covered counter.  Listen for the pings of your jars sealing.  If one doesn't ping, put it in the fridge and gobble that one first.


Champagne and Roses Jelly

I am on a jelly making kick.  It is fun.  It relaxes me.  It is art (just humor me.)

A friend of mine has some beautiful roses - a dark fuchsia color - and she doesn't spray them.  That is important (the not spraying - the color is just a bonus) when you use your flowers for food.

This is an elegant jelly.  I felt like I should have been wearing pearls while making it.  The jelly will take on the color of the roses.  I will try it later with a different color.  

Splendid. (perhaps read in a lovely accent of your choice)

I think this jelly would be great on a cracker with cream cheese.  Maybe on a scone with clotted cream for a delightful afternoon tea.  I have a scone recipe here - http://ahawker.blogspot.com/2012/08/white-wine-raspberry-jelly-and-sour.html

Champagne and Roses Jelly
makes about 10 half-pint jars

2 quarts (8 cups) rose petals, not sprayed, loose
1- 750 ml bottle of champagne (about 4 cups)
7 cups sugar
2 pouches (1 box) of liquid pectin

Place rose petals in a bowl. Sprinkle the petals with 1 cup of sugar.  Rib the sugar into the petals, crushing the petals.  Let the petals rest for a couple of hours.
The petals will wilt quite a bit in the sugar.

Heat the champagne to a boil and remove from heat.  Add the rose petals sugar combo, scraping all the sugar and juice, to the hot champagne and allow the roses to steep for a 2-4 hours or overnight (I let them steep overnight, easy.)

Strain the rose petals and champagne through a metal strainer lined with cheesecloth or coffee filters.  Let it drip for a while.  You should have between 3 1/2 and 4 cups of liquid.

Prepare your hot water bath canner, jars, lids and rings.

In a large pot, combine the champagne and roses "tea", and the remaining sugar.

Over high heat, stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.  Stir in pectin.  Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Wipe rims and place hot lids on jars.  Screw band down to finger-tip tight.

Place jars in canner, making sure they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.

Remove jars, cool on a towel draped counter, and listen for the pings.