The other night I went to a jam making class with some moms. Sounds lame I know, but I’ve been trying to figure out how Zara can help me make jam/jelly/ This holiday season we’re planning on making several themed baskets and I thought jam would make a fantastic addition. BUT it involves lots of hot stove time, and peeling of fruit, and so on.
So I took a class where the recipes are from the early 1900’s and they only use natural products. Sounds pretty good right? So I hitched a ride with a friend (thanks Jen!) and we got to cooking. The jam was cranberry, pear and lemon. I’ll provide a modified recipe below, but while peeling and yada yada I realized, I can make this fun for a two-year old! Since we were using cranberries, I’m having Zara give them a bath and to be on the lookout for white cranberries. While tart, they contain a higher amount of pectin, which will help ‘gel’ the jam. While she does that, I peel and dice the pear, zest the lemon and squeeze out the juice into a pot that has 1 cup of water. Add 3 cups of sugar (also a gelling agent along with the lemon!) and then the cranberries that have stems removed. Bring to a rolling boil, constantly stirring. Once rolling boil has happened, lower heat. At this point in time you can have your toddler bung in a tbsp of cinnamon and then mash the fruit with a spoon (under close supervision… obviously…it’s still on the stove). Keep stirring until jam thickens and when you scrap against bottom of pan you can see silver (or whatever color your pan is) clearly. (About 15 minutes).
Now here is where you will need sterilized products. While the dishwasher can help with most of it, an old fashioned tip is to swipe the lid with bourbon or any brown alcohol. (Sounds good already right?) You are going to need jars, lids, a funnel, a spoon and a knife, all sterilized.
Here is where you have a choice. If you like your jam chunky, skim off any white nastiness from the top of your mixture with the knife. Then funnel into jars. You know you have enough when you lay your knife across the top and the jam touches it. Use your spoon to top off if you need to and your knife to get rid of the bubbles. Seal and put in dishwasher for 90 seconds (if using jars pictured below, if using other jars either boil for 5 minutes OR turn the jars upside down for 5 minutes. Other option, if you prefer more of a jelly, use a jelly cloth or cheesecloth to strain out the chunky pieces.
Okay a bit upside down, but here is the recipe:
1 cup cranberries
4 pears, peeled and diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup water
3 cups sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Since this post Zara and I have made another type of jelly. A couple of ladies I know were using cranberries for various holiday things and had a lot leftover. I asked if I could take any off their hands. They gave me a TON (Thanks Jen and Shannon!). So I decided to make a cranberry lemon jam. It was AWESOME. I figured out several ways to include Zara then I had mentioned above AND used less products to get the jam to jar (I didn’t use a funnel).
I had Zara crush up some cloves and we did the following:
2 cups of cranberries
2 cups water
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 tsp crushed cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 cups sugar
I did the same as above in terms of boiling and simmering. Same great results, but I think a better jam. I’m calling it “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly” Jelly. I know. I’m awesome (and incredibly modest, apparently).