Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Jams

Blueberry, Strawberry, Peach, Apricot Jalapeno and Strawberry Jalapeno

I do most of my jam making in the summer, as most people do, when fresh fruit is at it prime.  But, the above jams were made with fruit that I had frozen, and even some peppers that I had frozen from my garden last year, and no, time did not dull their sting!

I wanted to try to make an apricot jam using dried apricots, since, in my opinion, we do not get good apricots or peaches here in Iowa.  I may be mistaken, but I have yet to find a native grown apricot or peach that tastes good here, and the grocery store fruits?  Forget it, waste of time and money!
So I gave this apricot jalapeno jam a try.  I definitely used too much jalapenos, plus I left the seeds in, so my batch is burning hot, but real chile heads might really appreciate the flaming heat. 

Apricot Jalapeno Jam

1/2 c finely chopped jalapenos (use more or less, leave seeds in for more heat)
2 c chopped dried apricots
2 c cider vinegar
6 c sugar
3 oz liquid pectin

Combine peppers, apricots, sugar and vinegar in a large non-reactive pan, bring to boil, skim foam, cook until apricots are tender.

Allow to cool 2 minutes, mix in pectin, stir well, pour into jars, seal and water bath process 10 minutes.

For the strawberry jalapeno jam, I wanted to use that flex batch pectin, the one where you only use the amount you need for the amount of fruit you have.

Strawberry Jalapeno Jam

4 cups total of crushed strawberries and jalapeno peppers (1/2 c peppers is very hot!)
7 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp cider vinegar (because I ran out of lemon juice!)
5 c sugar
4 1/2 tbsp flex batch classic pectin

Combine berries, peppers, lemon juice, vinegar and pectin, mix well and cook on high to a rolling boil, add sugar and once again cook to a rolling boil, boil hard for 1 minute and take of heat.  Skim foam.  Pour into jars, seal and water bath process for 10 minutes.

The rest of the jams are just classic powdered pectin recipes for blueberry, strawberry and peach.  The blueberries were picked at a local berry farm, and the peaches are from Georgia, ordered for me by that same berry farm, and they were the juiciest, sweetest, biggest peaches I ever had the privilege to have.   Happily, all my jars jelled and sealed!

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