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Sweeten Up The Jam

Jam  

Summer is here and there is no better way to celebrate than by attending your state fair. All across the country, from the Colorado Rockies to upstate New York, families gather on state fair grounds for a week of fun and excitement including rodeos, arts and crafts exhibitions and competitions featuring homemade foods.

This year, if you have visions of winning a blue ribbon consider entering the jam and jelly making competition. With these helpful tips from seasoned state fair judges and award-winning recipes, you'll be on the road to victory.

Experts agree, there are several characteristics of an award winning jam. First and foremost, experts note that jam should contain plenty of fresh fruit which should be evenly distributed throughout the jar. Experts also recommend using the smallest and sweetest berries perhaps picked straight from your own backyard garden. And of course, the flavor should be extremely fresh, capturing the essence of the summer season.

With the abundance of fruits available during the summer months, there are a variety of jams you can make. Try something new and creative for this year's entry such as a Spiced Peach Jam. Or, preserve the wonderful taste of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in a Triple Berry Jam. Spread on warmed muffins, or spooned over homemade ice-cream, this jam adds a delicious sweet touch.

With these winning recipes and expert advice, you can bring home the blue ribbon this year. For details on how to enter, contact your local county extension office. Good luck!

 

Spiced Peach Jam

Jam
  • 4 cups prepared fruit
         (about 3 pounds fully ripe peaches)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fruit protector (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice,
         cinnamon and cloves
  • 5-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 box fruit pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon margarine or butter

Peel, pit and finely chop peaches. Measure 4 cups into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Stir in lemon juice, fruit protector and spices.

Measure sugar into separate bowl. (Scrape excess sugar from cup with spatula to level for exact measure.) Stir fruit pectin into fruit in saucepot. Add margarine. Bring to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in all sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

Ladle quickly into hot sterilized jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright. After jars are cool, check seals.

Or follow water bath method recommended by USDA.

Makes about 7 (1-cup) jars.

Serving ideas: Great as a glaze for roasted poultry or pork. Great as a sauce—just heat and serve.

 

Triple Berry Jam

  • 5 cups prepared fruit (about 3 pints fully ripe strawberries,
         1-1/2 pints fully ripe red raspberries and 1 pint fully ripe blackberries)
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 box fruit pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon margarine or butter

Stem and thoroughly crush strawberries, 1 layer at a time. Measure 2-1/2 cups into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Thoroughly crush raspberries, 1 layer at a time. Measure 1-1/2 cups into saucepot. Thoroughly crush blackberries, 1 layer at a time. Measure 1 cup into saucepot.

Measure sugar into separate bowl. (Scrape excess sugar from cup with spatula to level for exact measure.) Stir fruit pectin into fruit in saucepot. Add margarine. Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in all sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

Ladle quickly into hot sterilized jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright. After jars are cool, check seals.

Or follow water bath method recommended by USDA.

Makes 8 cups or 8 (1-cup) jars.

 

Provided By Kraft Foods, Inc.

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

 
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This page modified January 2007


 


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