Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Low-Sugar Spicy Peachy Blueberry Jam

Allllrighty then... I've been busy!!!

Remember yesterday's gross tonnage of tomatoes?

Well, I'm now up to 4 quarts of Frozen Squozen 'Maters!

I attempted to mostly segregate them by color (So much for Embracing Diversity!). The first bag was from a couple of weeks ago. All Stupice Tomatoes. Small, red, salad tomatoes. They're sweet with a little acidity. The second bag is a mix of Stupice and a Croatian Brandywine - both are classic tomato red. Third bag is a mix of Carbon and Black Zebras (purply color). They're both pretty sweet, but the Zebras are pretty acidic. And the last bag is all Kellogg's Breakfast - a super-sweet and meaty orange tomato (Verrrry tasty!).

For now, they are in the freezer (which beats the hell out of getting all mushy in the kitchen!). I'm sure I'll be thrilled - mid-winter - when I decide I want to whip-up a batch of fresh Pasta Sauce!

I still have a few maters in the kitchen (and a zillion more on the vines!) - might fire-up the Dehydrator and make "faux" sun-dried tomatoes out of 'em. Not sure yet...

So: What about the @#$% peaches?!!

Ohhhh, there were a few more pick-able peaches on the tree today (and a boatload rotting on the ground - bummer!). I think I gathered up about 8-10 more peaches today. And there might be half-a-dozen more, tomorrow! But then - I swear! - we're DONE!

Annnnnd, I still had some Blueberries leftover from this past weekend's Pie Adventure

I enjoyed the pies soooo much, I decided to adapt the pie recipe into a Peachy-Blueberry Jam Recipe. Here goes:

QT's Low-Sugar Spicy Peachy Blueberry Jam - Makes 5 x 12oz. jars of jam

  • 8 Peaches (you want to end up with 6 cups, coarsely-chopped). I'd started out with a dozen peaches and had leftovers (that went to make plain ol' Peach Freezer Jam)
  • 2 cups smashed Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar (you might bump that up a notch - maybe 3/4 cup would be better)
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 2 Tbs Lemon Juice (bottled)
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 8 Tbs Low/No-Sugar-Needed Pectin
First, rinse the blueberries and remove any stems and/or nasty squishy ones. Toss 'em in a small bowl and lightly mash 'em. Sprinkle 2 Tbs sugar on 'em so they'll "sweat" a bit. You do want "recognizable" berries, but you also want to release some of the juice. You'll want 2 cups of mashed juicy berries. Let 'em sit and sweat for a few minutes.

Mashin' the Blueberries w/Sugar

While the blueberries are sweating, blanch/peel/de-pit the peaches and coarsely chop them up. Drizzle 2 Tbs Lemon Juice and 2 Tbs Sugar on them while you're chopping 'em up. Again, you want the peaches to de-juicify - and you want to end up with 6 cups of Juicy Fruit.

6 cups of Juicy Sweaty Peaches
Oops. I had "Extras" - so these ended up getting transformed into Plain Ol' Peach Freezer Jam!

Hey!! What about us???

Okay, next you add the mushy gushy blueberries to the juicy sweaty peaches and stir 'em up. Add another 1/4 cup of sugar at this point...

Mix 'em up good!

Okay, we're Embracing Diversity again!

Then toss the whole mess into a big pot on the stove. Start heating it up on Medium-High heat. Stir just enough to keep it from burning. While the pot is heating, mix your Pectin with your Splenda (dry), then dump it into the pot and mix it in. Toss in 1/2 tsp of ground Cinnamon, while you're at it.

Bring the pot to a full, rolling boil (meaning the bubbles keep blorping while you're stirring). Cook it for one full minute, at this point. Once the minute is up, remove it from the heat!

Don't forget to check for "set!"

Fill your heated, sterilized jars. Let 'em rest for five minutes. Give 'em a good stir, clean the rims, pop the lids on, then process them in the canner for 15 minutes...

Yummy Spicy Peachy Blueberry Jam!

I ended up with 5 x 12 oz. jars and about half of an 8 oz. jar (which went straight into the fridge). To be honest, I don't know if the "stir after 5 minutes" trick really worked or not. After the jars had sat for awhile, it looks like I may still have some Fruity-Floatiness action, but I think I can live with it!

By the way, I did sample the jam and it *is* rather tart. I'm totally okay with that - but you might want to bump-up the sweetener "just a tad..."

Anyway... *I* like it! And it is "All About Meeeee," after all!!!

So there's your Recipe Du Jour. And yes, I am still a Canning Phreak!!! In fact, P brought over a book of canning recipes and there's a most delightful-sounding Corn Relish recipe that I might attempt to make, later tonight...

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