I've been drooling over all the jams and jellies sent hither and yon by participants in the Jammin' Jelly Exchange. Here's what everyone has sent and received thus far, with some scrumptious-sounding recipes thrown in for good measure. I'll come back and update with more info as it comes in.
April from the blog Abby Sweets mailed off a jar of her super-duper-sounding Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Jam (scroll down for recipe).
It was gladly received by Aileen, who lives here in Alaska and blogs at Quixote's Tart (click on that link for more details).
Alyssa from Victoria, B.C. contributed a jar of Rhubarb Grapefruit Preserves, a recipe she found in the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook (scroll down for recipe). This was her first year of making jams and jellies and it looks like she took to it like a duck to water.
Lyra from Rice and Beans: A Belizean in D.C. was the happy recipient of Alyssa's jar of grapefruity goodness (click on that Rice and Beans link there for the scoop). Lyra, in turn, sent Alyssa a jar of Belizean Orange Marmalade and a jar of Apple-Ginger Chutney. She braved a downpour and killer case of procrastination to mail off her package. Considering I dawdled in mailing my jar off to Australia, I can't really fault her for her tardiness. The rules are loosey-goosey around here.
Becke from the blog Columbus Foodie sent off a delicious-sounding jar of strawberry-blueberry jam. Good luck with your surgery, Becke!
Her lucky recipient was Laurie from the scrumptious-looking blog Quirky Cupcake. The Jammin' Jelly Exchange inspired Laurie to try canning for the first time.
The last I heard, Constance was having trouble with her figs preserves when 5 pints and $25 worth of figs got scorched while she was thumbing through the newspaper on a Sunday morning. (Constance, be sure to scroll down and see the burnt fig jam Kristy sent me!) I must say that I enjoyed these tales of canning woe even better than people's description of successfully-canned jams and jellies. Constance doesn't have a blog yet but she should really get one. Her last email to me swore: "But tonight, as god is my witness, there WILL be fig cooking!"
Angie from the fine book blog Leafing Through enjoyed Constance's trials, tribulations, and funny emails so much that she opened up her box right before mailing and enclosed a second jar of jam for Constance. Angie made Salmonberry Jam (scroll down for the recipe. She describes the berries as 'something like a cross between a not very tart crabapple and a raspberry.' She made two different batches because she didn't really have a recipe to work . In the first batch she left the seeds in because ordinarily she loves seeds in raspberry jam. But she learned the hard way that salmonberries have ALOT of seeds. In the second batch, she modified things a bit and it worked out well.
As for me, I got matched up with Kristy at All the Tiny Things. Photos of the extremely photogenic parcel she sent have been splashed throughout this post. This was Kristy's first try at canning (click on her blog link for the details) and she and her mom whipped up some Mulberry Jam. Doesn't that sound yummy? Well, it is, I assure you -- scroll down for her witty recipe. She was all false modesty and hemming and hawing, worried I wouldn't like her jam, so she enclosed a jar of the best storebought jam she's ever tasted. It's a burnt fig jam (Constance: take note!) by Maggie Beer. I haven't tried it yet but can't wait to spread it on a piece of toast. I had a good time surfing around Maggie's website. Thanks so much, Kristy! I loved what you sent. I'm going to share your jam with friends this morning when they come over to help me move.
And last but not least, I shipped Kristy a jar of my red currant jelly.
Here are the recipes I've received so far. I'll add more in a second post if any of the participants send more.
Thanks so much everyone for taking part!
April's Chocolate Covered Strawberry Jam
2 lbs strawberries, sliced
4 1/2 Cups sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
pinch of salt
3 oz. of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Combine all of the ingredients, EXCEPT the chocolate in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil on medium-high heat, stirring frequently for about 15-20 minutes, or until you reach 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Once you reach this temp, remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate has melted and is combined. Transfer to jelly jars and top with the lids. The heat from the jam should make the tops seal. Also, you don't need to skim off the foam, once you add the chocolate and get that all mixed in, the foam dissolves back into the jam.
Alyssa's Rhubarb Grapefruit Preserves
2 pounds rhubarb
4 cups sugar
Wash and dry the rhubarb and cut it into 1/2-inch dice. Peel the zest off the grapefruit and chop it very fine. Put the rhubarb, chopped zest, and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed stainless-steel pot. Juice the grapefruits into the pot. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes (or overnight) to allow the sugar to dissolve and the rhubarb to release its juice.
Prepare five 8-ounce canning jars and self-sealing lids in boiling water, following the manufacturer's instructions. Put a small plate in the freezer to be used later to test the consistency of the jam.
Bring the pot of fruit to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom. The mixture will bubble high up the sides of the pot. Skim off any light-coloured foam collecting on the edges. Soon the jam will subside, still bubbling thickly. Stir frequently and start testing for consistency by putting small spoonfuls of jam on the cold plate. This cools the samples quickly so you can tell what the finished texture will be. When the jam has cooked to the thickness you want, turn off the heat and carefully ladle the jam into the prepared canning jars, allowing at least 1/4 inch of headroom. Seal with the lids according to the manufacturer's instructions. The preserves will keep for 1 year.
Makes 5 cups (although I only ended up with about 4 cups worth)
Kristy's Mulberry Jam
what kristy used:
1.75 kg mulberries
500 g raspberries
250 g strawberries
2.5 kg sugar
6 T lemon juice
2 apples grated
50 g Jamsetta
what kristy did:
rub the bottom of a heavy pan with copha. this will help prevent the jam from sticking.
mix altogether and boil for a few hours until thick. meanwhile wash jars in hot soapy water and dry in a warm oven.
bottle the jam while still hot and tightly screw on the lid. invert jars for 20 minutes, and then turn up the right way.
bottle the jam while still hot and tightly screw on the lid. invert jars for 20 minutes, and then turn up the right way and leave to cool.
wrap in brown paper and squich into a box. send over to the other side of the world and cross fingers.
Angie's Salmonberry Jam
7 cups salmonberries
1 box Surejell or other pectin
5 1/2 c sugar
Bring boiling water canner half full with water to a simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water. Rinse with warm water or put them through a cycle in the dishwasher with nothing but the jars and bands. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Keep a kettle of boiling water on hand in case you need to add water to the pot later.
Crush salmonberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. Strain half of the pulp to remove some of the seeds. Measure 5 cups prepared fruit into a 6 - 8 quart pot. Stir in pectin and bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop boiling even when stirred) over hight heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and return to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Skim off any foam with a metal spoon -- or leave the foam. It's not pretty but it sure is tasty. Ladle immediatley into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids and screw on tightly.
Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower into water -- water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water if necessary.
Cover and bring water to a gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. DO NOT TOUCH BEFORE THEY COOL COMPLETELY. Seriously, back off. Even after they cool, they might take a bit to seal.
After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If lid springs back, it's not sealed and you should refrigerate that jar and use it first. For some reason it took this jam a day or two to set up but it's fine now.