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Bonnie Senay's Jam

July 30, 2003

4 cups fruit

5 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup pectin

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends glass Mason-type threaded canning jars with self-sealing lids. The jars may be reused but must be washed and carefully rinsed before each use. New lids are required for each use.

Before Senay prepares the fruit for jam, she prepares her jars by boiling them for 10 minutes. She leaves them in the hot water until she is ready to fill them. Bonnie Senay recommends having a jar lifter and lid lifter - forceps-like tools - to remove jars and lids from the hot water bath.

A section of newspaper works well to protect Senay's work surface from inevitable drips and spills as she fills the jars with fruit. After each batch, it's easy to tear off the top sheet and have a clean surface for the next.

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Wash fruit and place in food processor. Give it a few little pulses, just enough to finely chop the fruit. Don't puree.

Place processed fruit in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Add pectin. Bring to a boil. Add sugar. Stir and bring back to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from burner. If foam forms on fruit, skim it off.

Ladle fruit into jars. Wipe off jar edge with clean damp cloth. Place lid on jar. Hand tighten ring on jar. Place in boiling water bath. Cover and boil 10 minutes. Take jars out of water to cool, setting them about 2 inches apart.

Listen to the "pop" sound of the lids as jars seal.

"That's a great sound," Senay says.

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