October 21, 2012
group jam session
A friend organized a jam-making and canning session to process two big boxes of fruit: one of plums and one of pears. It took a long time, but together we canned 48 pints worth of plum jam, pear jam, and pear slices in vanilla brandy syrup.
I was particularly excited about the plum jam because we were able to rely on the naturally occurring pectin to get it to gel. Especially because of my past failure trying to do this with crabapples, which I simply didn't boil long enough and added too much sugar. But now I know the trick of using frozen spoons and plates to check if it will gel. We added some no-sugar pectin to the pear jam just because it was taking a long time.
Pitting plums, peeling pears. We didn't peel the plums, which saved a lot of work. While stewing, we blended them with an immersion blender, which turned the jam a wonderful dark purple color.
We had a lot of simultaneous stove action:
Dueling pressure canners (in water bath mode)–what a beautiful sight!