Monday, June 28, 2010

Seat Of My Pants Jam Making - AKA Not A Great Idea

Did I mention I lack a certain amount of concentration when cooking and baking??? I can do a lovely job but I need to focus and keep my mind in the game.

Sometimes I decide to experiment and fly by the seat of my pants... And most times I get away with it no problem.

But not on Saturday night I didn't.

What have I learned over the course of my two or three as yet not over jam making spree?????

Don't experiment with jams unless you are either:

1. rich and can afford to waste valuable fruit

2. have so much fruit you aren't worried about it not turning out


3. are content to have sauce or syrup instead of jam in case is doesn't turn out.

I crazily thought that since a blueberry pie recipe worked so well for Tammy, my sister-in-common-law, to make a saskatoon pie that a blueberry jam recipe would work equally well for me when making saskatoon jam.


I got sauce. A wonderful sauce that tastes amazing but is too chunky for a syrup and too thin for a spread. I ate it on my toast this morning anyways... Just to prove that it had turned out.

Well I would eat it on toast but I couldn't give it away at Christmas and call it "jam".

I would need to attempt "remaking cooked jam".

So I had a very lovely conversation with a lovely gal at Kraft Canada this morining who counselled me on the ins and outs of not substituting when making jam.

1. You shouldn't change the style of certo (that I knew already) and

2. Apparently you can't really get away with chaning fruit types. Blueberries and Saskatoons seem similar but apparently as far as pectins are concerned they are not so much the same.

What I learned is this:

1. You can do one redo of a non-set jam recipe and then yer done.

2. I have a lovely Chunky Saskatoon Sauce/Syrup Recipe and the lovely Kraft lady said people call up all the time looking for that.

4 cups crushed Saskatoons
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 box certo crystals
5 cups sugar

Bring the berries and lemon juice to a boil and add the sugar and bring it back to a hard boil and let it go for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and skim and stir for 5 minutes and then bottle it up and let the bottles seal.

3. Don't try adding 2 more cups of sugar like the saskatoon jam recipe on calls for - it also calls for certo liquid so you'll still be up the creek - refer to the rule that says you can't interchange certo types which I said I already knew but still considered doing anyways in light of my current non-set saskatoon jam situation. Desperate times call for desperate measures after all.

4. Really search that old internet well before concluding that there just are no saskatoon jam recipes out there and deciding to go it alone. In my defence I did consult my mom and the 4H cookbook but had not luck. Mom only had a saskatoon-rhubarb jam and I am currently rhubarb-less. The cookbook had a recipe for jelly and I am making jam.

I'm not stubborn at all.

So I have now emptied one batch of jam back into a sauce pan and have washed the jars again and started them on their journey towards sterilization again... And am getting ready to follow the remaking cooked jam recipe in the certo box.

For my next Saskatoon Jam attempt I intend to get the certo liquid - two of them as called for in the recipe - and make a real batch of jam.

If my remake doesn't work out then I've been told I'll still have a really nice sauce that I can give away as Christmas gifts instead of some jam.

So no harm no foul. I'll still spread it on toast and eat it.

Final thought - my two younger cats, Mako and Missy, both like jam. They seem to prefer raspberry though. They obviously aren't native prairie dogs like me.

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