There are many things in life I have never tried: cocaine, climbing a mountain, backpacking, slaughtering a live animal, resisting the temptation of a Nicolas Sparks novel turned movie (no matter how hard I try; I see that little bugger on Netflix and I think, “Just one more time.”) and making jam. Amongst all these things the only thing I’ve never done that I truly regret is not having made jam. I have always thought about making jam, the ‘oh, yah, tomorrow’ mentality. I just never got around to it. There is always something more challenging to bake plus it’s so easy to buy good jam! And the whole thing about sterilizing jars…that scared me. What if I didn’t sanitize correctly and I helped pass some horrific sickness to close family and friends by means of my Lavender Raspberry Christmas Jam!
But today, I woke up and felt brave. Today I would concur the sterilization of jar, I would slice fruit, I would heat said fruit, blend it to perfection, and jar it for future consumption. Today, I had a jam plan and it went perfectly.
Strawberry & Apricot Jam
2 lbs of strawberries & apricots diced (I used 1.4 lbs apricots & 12 oz. of strawberries because I wanted a tart jam)
1 cup coconut sugar
zest & juice from one lemon
First get your lemon zest, juice, and coconut sugar cooking in a pan. You want to melt the sugar but this won’t take long so keep an eye on it.
Next, cut up your fruit and add it to your lemon/sugar mixture. Turn your pan to medium heat and stir frequently so the sugars don’t burn. This mixture will cook anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how thick you like your jam. I let mine cook for about 40 minutes.
While the jam is cooking put your jars & lids on an oven safe pan and into the oven. Turn on the oven to 170°F and let the jars get nice and toasty. They should bake for at least 15 minutes after the oven comes to temperature.
Once your jam is to the consistency you like turn off the heat and blend 3/4 of the mixture. The rest you’ll leave as it is for texture. You can check the consistency of the jam on the back of a spoon that has been in the freezer. Simply drop some jam on the spoon and run your finger through it. If the liquid on the spoon starts to run then it needs more time. I personally like my jam a little runny so I didn’t bother with this step.
Now pull your jars out of the oven and very carefully fill them with your hot jam. Top & seal. Be sure not to touch the lids or seals as you put them on your jam jars.
Okay, so here’s the fun part. Listen for your lids to pop. This means the steam of the jam has forced the leads to pop thus sealing you jam for freshness.
This recipe makes four 8oz jam jars.
The minute I tasted this I knew my life was changed forever. I will no longer think of store bought jam as ‘good’, that stuff is crap! This wholesome, tart, and fresh jam is so much flipping better! I can’t wait to try more fruits, flavor combinations, and to start pickling! Now, like little red ridding hood I’m off to delivery jam to grandma’s house. I think she’ll eat this shit up!