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Cooking with Annie – Small Batch Jam

In previous years when I was canning for an entire schooner full of guests, large batch canning was my gig. These were all day events, mushed in between sailing trips, tinged with desperation to get as much done in the one day available to capture the harvest before scooting back to the schooner for another sail. Now-a-days, with even the girls out of the house and off on their adventures most of the time, small batch jam seems to be the way things should roll around here from now on.

I remember many summers when I was a child, my mom making strawberry freezer jam. To have that burst of summer in the middle of the winter was just like eating sunshine and warm summer days.

I’ve made the jam in this video with blackberries just picked from the vigorous brambles intent on taking over the back part of the garden, but it can easily be made with 2 cups of any fruit. Just make sure that you’ve cleaned, peeled, pitted, and/or cut your fruit of choice into smaller pieces (not berries, of course, but maybe peaches or plums, for example).

Small Batch Blackberry Jam
2 cups blackberries
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

Clean and dry two, 4-ounce Ball jars or other heat proof jars with lids. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the berries and the sugar. Stir to combine and when the mixture comes to a boil, add the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a full, roiling boil and keep a careful eye on it. Boil for 5 to 7 minutes or until the bubbles have lowered in the pan, the mixture has thickened, and when you drag a spatula in the pan, you can hear a searing sound. Immediately transfer the jam from the pan to the jars and wait until they are fully cooled. Cover with a lid; label with name and date: and either refrigerate or freeze.

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