04 July 2010

Playing with food: fruit picking

Yesterday, I finally went fruit picking, which I haven't done since I was a kid. I decided to try Mood's Farm, since it was recommended by two of my favorite canning blogs, Doris and Jilly Cook and Food in Jars. My goal was to come home with a bucketful of raspberries, but they were pretty much picked over, so I ended up with less than a pound. I still went away happy, though, because the sweet plums were bountiful, and at $1.15 a lb, I stocked up.

With my fruit safely home, I made small batches of jam: one 12-oz jar of raspberry jam, and two 12-oz jars of sweet plum jam. I also added one small peach into the plum mixture. Ordinarily, I dislike anything peach-flavored, with the exception of actual peaches, but I decided to experiment. I tasted the resulting batch, and it came out quite tasty, so I dare say that the experiment paid off.

I've been using low-sugar pectin in all of my jam recipes, since I don't like a lot of sugar, and conventional jam recipes call for ungodly amounts. I've read that pectin can sometimes negatively alter the taste of jams, but I haven't found that to be the case yet. I'd like to try making jams without pectin, but I'm not sure if that means I must increase the sugar. If you happen to know, send me an email or leave a comment.

Raspberry jam in the center, sweet plum jam on either side

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