Our family has been blessed with a huge amount of fresh fruit this year. Unfortunately it seemed to come all at once, so some of it must be preserved somehow. Jam is an obvious choice since it’s ridiculously expensive to buy those jars of fruit flavored stiff syrups they sell at the grocery store, and the recipe on the back of the pectin box just tells you how to recreate the bland store variety (6 cups of fruit, 4 cups of water and eight cups of sugar, are you kidding me?!?). I knew there had to be a better way, and luckily for me, another fantastic local blogger has already done the work (and a superior tutorial) for us! Northwest Edible Life will walk you through the entire process with pictures at every step and she’s even compiled a fantastic guide to flavorings that will help you make your creation yours. Thanks, Erica!!
So far I’ve used this method with several batches, everything from apricots (why, oh why didn’t I buy more than two pounds??) to two varieties of plums and some berry jams. You can do a basic water bath canning or just freeze when done. Juicier fruits, like the huge box of really really ripe pears still needed some pectin, but I didn’t add any water and added sugar just to taste, along with my spices and some amaretto 🙂
Here is a pic of my to-die-for (and almost gone!) apricot jam spread on toast: