Jamming and canning in fall after missing the bounty of summer? Yep, that's me.
I mentioned in this apple-y post how my dad has an apple tree which in past years hasn't produced the best apples but that this year has had some pretty good ones. It could be because he didn't prune back the tree or because it rained a lot more than usual last winter but whatever reason it is, Kristen and I actually liked these apples raw. That is until they started to get a bit sad and I decided to turn them into jam instead.
As a person who is enthusiastic about homemade foods, it is surprising that I never attempted to make jam before and completely missed summer produce. But, that is okay because these apples turned into excellent jam.
I remember that an ex-boyfriend's mother used to make jam and chutneys in the summer that were particular enjoyable. Good enough to eat with a spoon, dolloped on ice cream or squished between bread and peanut butter. Her strawberry jam was my favorite but that was before I was into food so I was never that interested in learning how to make it.
Fast forward to 5 years later and I have now successfully canned jam and enjoyed it! It is time intensive but actually pretty methodical and relaxing. But, I am a weirdo who would call canning a relaxing activity. I did a test run with some not so good strawberry freezer jam, some apples and some bad peaches using this tutorial which turned out to be successful and properly canned.
There are canning kits out there but I found that I could MacGyver things that I had like wrapping thick rubber bands around tongs so that the jars wouldn't slip out when removing them from boiling hot water. The only real problem I had was that I didn't have a large pot that was tall enough so I had to be particularly careful when boiling the jars and only bought shorter half pint jars from Target.
The only other hard part is timing everything. The jars should be sterilized and hot before putting the hot jam in and immediately canning them. There were a few times where the jars were done way before the jam was but I just sterilized them extra long.
As a first time jammer, I was worried when I didn't hear all of the seals pop on the jars but as usual, Popo knows all and said that as long as the top is firm 24 hours later when you press down on it, it should be sealed. And, if you aren't sure, you can always place them directly in the fridge or freezer.
I gave these to my coworkers can got raving reviews such as "three gold bars" and "sooo good on pumpkin pancakes" and "it was amazing".
Dreaming of the produce of summer again and making more jam all year long.
Apple Ginger Jam
Yields: 4 half-pint jars // Active Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes // Inactive Time: 24 hours rest time