canning… strawberry chipotle jam
Last week Diann mentioned that she had just gone to a u-pick strawberry patch and came back with a flat of strawberries. I told her that she had to tell me next time she was going so that I could get her to pick me up some. She texted me the next day saying that she was going to a farm outside of Guelph and asked if I wanted a basket of strawberries. Of course I said yes. Yesterday I biked up to Diann’s to pick up the basket and visit with her two adorable kittens.
I had saw this recipe for Strawberry Chipotle jam and really wanted to try it:
I was a little apprehensive as I knew I would have to process it in two batches, which didn’t work out the best last time. I couldn’t get the sugar to dissolve in the lemon as the recipe said, so I added the berries and peppers anyway and hoped for the best.
It worked out. This jam recipe doesn’t use pectin, so it said to use some unripe berries because that makes it gel better or something. Diann picked me ripe berries, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it would set.
After boiling for 10 minutes, I checked to see if it was ready. Then I checked again after 5 more minutes. And 5 more minutes. And 5 more minutes. Then I remembered this post from Marisa’s Food In Jars about setting jam:
After 25-30 minutes of boiling jam, I interpreted the first paragraph of that blog entry as “if it doesn’t set, can it anyway and call it a jelly.” So that’s what I did. I also used a fairly large pot, but not gigantic, that had tall sides so perhaps there wasn’t enough surface area for the quantity of jam that I was making to get a good set.
Luckily, though, I had to process this jam in two batches. I filled four 125mL jars of what I had just deemed Strawberry Chipotle jelly and processed for 10 minutes. While they were processing, I continued to cook what remained in the pot to what I thought was nicely gelled jam. I ended up with one 125mL jar and one full 250mL squat half pint jar to process, and about half of another squat 250mL pint jar that I stuck in the fridge.
This jam is so, so good.
When Bryan got home I made him try some too. He got the jar out of the fridge and tried to spread the jam and it was super thick. Perhaps my jelly HAD gelled into jam after all. Ah well. I learn something new with every batch of jam.
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Tags: chipotle, jam, strawberry