From Soil to City

Jam Making 101

Here at Local Roots we love jam, why? It’s a great way to use up surplus or fruit that’s starting to look a bit sad, preserve fruit from the season, and you can customize and make it your own. You can use unique flavor combinations that you wouldn’t find in your local grocery store because you’re creating the concoction yourself. We recently hosted a Jam Making workshop with Anarchy In a Jar and it was great to learn more about the process. Not to mention with Thanksgiving coming up, jam is the perfect hostess/host present and an easy thing to travel home with. Don’t have time to try out the recipe featured below? Order over $140 through our Pop Up Thanksgiving and receive a complimentary one-time run and small batch Local Roots berry jam.

A few fun facts
-Did you know pectin can naturally be found in all plants? It has a higher content in some fruits like apples, quince, lemons and cranberries. It is a gelling agent, thickening agent and stabilizer in food that was first discovered in 1825. Pectin also helps reduce the amount of sugar needed in jam.
– In the US, you must legally make jam so that 55% of its contents are sugar, cane sugars and natural sugar from fruit can be included in this
– Thinking of flavor combos? Look at desserts on menus or cocktails and riff off of those flavor palettes.

How to Can
– When canning, boil water in a stainless steel pot, put the filler jars in the pot. Pour
lukewarm or warm water over them till they are totally covered. Make sure water covers jars by 1 to 2 inches. Place lid on your pot.
– Bring water to a full rolling boil. This is key! Like pasta water, it has to be full in bubbling. Begin processing time now! Start your timer for 6 to 10 minutes. When processing time is complete, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Allow jars to stand in canner for a few minutes to get acclimated to the outside temperature.  Then pull them all out with tongs and let them cool on the counter.

Using your Jam
Get creative with your jam! Make a cocktail with it, salad dressing, or straight up
slater it on a nice piece of toast. Tag any of your jam photos @LocalRootsNYC
#madewithlocalroots!

Want a delish and fun recipe to start? Try this one:

Blackberry Raspberry Apple Jam
This recipe is a two-day process. If you want to do it in one day, let the apples and
berries macerate for a few hours at room temperature and they should render enough juice for the recipe; the longer this macerates, the better it will taste, and the quicker it will cook and reach a gel stage.
Want to make this recipe extra fun? Add a tablespoon of booze (vermouth, pinot noir wine, or whiskey all work well in this recipe), or some fresh herbs, such as 1 sprig (1 teaspoon minced) of thyme or rosemary.

Special equipment
mason jars (Ball, Kerr, etc.), stainless steel pot, tongs

Ingredients
2 cups of minced apples (about 1 pound)
2 cups of berries
1.25 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin (http://www.pomonapectin.com)
1 teaspoon calcium water (see Pomona’s Pectin recipe booklet for ratio)

Directions
PREP FRUIT: Chop the fruit. Measure fruit into a glass bowl or plastic food-safe
Tupperware and add lemon juice and half of the sugar. Stir well. Want more pizazz?
Add a teaspoon of spice, such as cardamom, chili, or star anise.
MACERATE: Macerate at room temperature for an hour or more (but no more than
8 hours). Stir a few times to help dissolve the sugar. If not using within 8 hours,
refrigerate (or leave in a cool place that is cooler than 50° F) overnight or up to 72
hours, so that the sugar and lemon juice can help release the juice of the fruit.

SANITIZE JARS & LIDS: Place your mason jars in a pot, covered with water; bring to
a boil and turn off; leave jars in the hot water, covered, until ready to fill. Place lids
in a heat-safe bowl and pour boiling water over them; let them sit in hot water while you prepare the jam.
Place a few metal spoons in the freezer for testing the consistency and gel of your
jam later on. You can also place them in a cup of ice water if you prefer or on the
windowsill in winter.

MIXING SUGAR AND PECTIN: Measure sugar into separate bowl or measuring cup and thoroughly mix proper amount of pectin powder into sugar — using a fork helps to disperse the pectin into the sugar. Set sugar mixture aside.

COOK: Bring the fruit mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring every few minutes to
avoid scorching. Pour the mixed pectin-sugar into the boiling jam slowly and
carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously 1-2 min to dissolve pectin.
Return to boil and turn off heat. Skim off any and all foam that has formed at the top.
Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool; so don’t worry if your jam looks loose when still hot. To test, place a teaspoon of the hot jam onto one of the frozen spoons you prepped; let it cool to room temperature (about 30 seconds) on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency that you like, then the jam is ready. If not, mix in a little more pectin (1⁄2 teaspoon into 1⁄4 cup sugar) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.

FILL jam to 1⁄4 inch from the top (size of your pinky nail). Place lids on top and
tighten hand-tight (not body-builder tight).

PROCESS: Place jars in hot water canning pot using tongs, and make sure jars are covered by at least 2- inches of water. Cover and bring to a full rolling boil (the jars often clink together at a full boil, do not be afraid). Start your timer NOW. The jam needs to be processed at this full boil for at least 6 minutes. When your timer dings, turn off heat, let the jars sit for a few minutes until the boiling subsides, remove jars, and let rest till cool. Jam lasts at least 12 months unopened. Store in a cool, dark place to retain color. Once opened, refrigerate.

Photo courtesy of BigOven.com