Well, it IS JAMuary, so the Cooking With Heat series wouldn't be complete without a preserves episode.
In my family, my late grandmother would make strawberry jelly every year after strawberry season. She'd get the whole family together with 5-gallon buckets and we'd fill them all up at the local farmer's pick-your-own strawberry field. When we got home, we'd have to de-green, cut, and slice all the strawberries before the jam making could begin. I had no idea I'd end up making jam on my own years later!
The recipe below was largely freeform, but it should make about six 8 oz jars of jam.
- 6 cups of pears, peeled and roughly chopped
- This shook out to about 8 green pears and 2 asian pears
- 2 cups apples, peeled and roughly chopped
- I had some very small honeycrisp, so this took 4 apples
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 package (1.75 oz) powdered pectin
- 1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon (from a stick!)
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- Prepare your canning supplies! Sterilize the canning jars, rings and lids by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes. These can cook while you prepare the jam. You can remove the hot jars with a set of long rubber or metal tongs, using a glove over your hand to protect from any water splash.
- Now for the jam: In a second large pot, combine the pears, apples, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until softened.
- Run the fruit in batches through your food processor. Each batch should have chunks of fruit that are not completely pulverized, so pulse the food processor 7-10 times for each batch. Return each batch to the original pot.
- Whisk in the cinnamon and pectin until dissolved.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil for one minute.
- Remove pot from the heat and skim the foam off the top.
- Once jars are finished sterilizing, set them on a heat-proof serving tray or cookie sheet.
- One at a time, ladle hot jam into jars, leaving about 1/4″ headspace at the top of the jar.
- Wipe rim and center lids on jars, and then screw down bands just until resistance is met.
- Using tongs, place jars in the sterilizing pot of boiling water, ensuring they are covered with water, and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars and tighten lids. Allow to cool at room temperature or in refrigerator.