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Be Green

Jammin'


Image courtesy Greenprophet (which also features an excellent recipe and jam-making tutorial!)

Tonight Be Green gets into a jam: some delicious strawberry jam that is. Oh, and some anise-scented blueberry syrup! Stephanie Robertson, aka Lady Tartine, shares her recipes and tips for making the most rocking fruit preserves you've ever tasted.


Strawberry Jam

This recipe DOES have a ton of sugar added. You can manage with less sugar, but be warned: sugar in jam acts as a preservative. So if you're making do with less, you'll want to consume your preserves within six months (or less). A handy tip is to put your expiry date (the day you make your jam + six months) on the jar BEFORE you put it in your cupboard. There's nothing worse than a mystery preserve that may or may not be past due.

You'll need:
* 4 cups of cleaned strawberries, cut in pieces
* between 3 and 4 cups of sugar, depending on sweetness of berries
* 2 tablespoons of lemon juice


1. Put five 250 ml mason jars in a cool oven and then set oven to 270 degrees F. Heat for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, dunk the lids in hot (but not boiling) water for at least 5 minutes. This will soften the plastic seal and make it stick better when you put it on your jar.
3. Put the berries, sugar and lemon in a big enough pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
4. Heat for about 20 minutes, or until the jam reaches 104 degrees Celsius. You'll notice that the bubbles that form on the surface begin to get viscous (sticky).
5. Pour jam into jars, being careful not to put any jam on the rim of the jar. Put lids on, and let cool. The lids will pop downward as they cool.
6. Before you put your jars away, label carefully and test your seal. If there's ANY movement when you press on the top of your jar, you should probably reprocess your jam.

NOTE: This method doesn't require processing like our tomatoes did. So it's quicker!



Image courtesy yumsugar's sinfully delicious blog!

Blueberry Syrup

What you'll need:

* 1 pound of cleaned blueberries
* 1 ½ cups water
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon of lavender flowers, or 3 star anise, if desired (yum!)


1. Prepare four 250 ml Masson jars the same as as for the recipe above.
2. Make the syrup by bringing the water and sugar to a boil. If using spices, infuse 10 minutes.
3. Strain syrup to remove spices or lavendar flowers, and gently put the blueberries in the syrup for 1 minute.
4. Transfer the fruit in clean hot jars with a slotted spoon, and fill with the syrup up to 1 cm from the top.
5. Put lids on, and sterilize for 10 minutes in pot of boiling water. The water needs to be 1 inch higher than the top of the lids. Let the water cool, and then remove jars from pot.
6. Make sure lids are curved downward (again, see recipe above for important safety tips), label and store.

Voila! Your fruit preserves are done!

Why is this green?
Preserving your own fruit allows you to grow them yourself (if you can) and then benefit from your harvest all year round. It also lets you buy the fruit when it's fresh, ripe and available locally and store it for later use (as opposed to eating fruit shipped in from all over the world). You control what goes in it, so no nasty preservatives. Plus (and this isn't really environmental), canning is fun and can be a wonderful social event. A community that cans together stays together-- and is much more likely to invest in sustainability.

So there you go. I'd love to hear your own home canning tips and tricks. Hurry and write in because I have some absolutely deelish Lady Tartine preserves to give away. Leave me a comment or call (514) 597-5626.

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Comments (1)

Keith Daniel

montreal

First of the month, bought cheap bruised fruit, and made a jam or chutney. Sweet, not spicy.

Boiled up with raisons and small spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg.

I will appreciate it later in the year, keeps well in the fridge.
Thanks!

Geeta says: Thank YOU for sharing this. Your chutney sounds delicious. What I'm not clear about is whether you heat processed your preserves or simply bottled them up like the strawberry jam. How do you store them? And for how long?

Posted June 5, 2009 07:06 PM

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