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Monday, 30 September 2013

Autumn Olive Jam Recipe

So, Mitchell found a rather tasty Autumn Olive bush, and we really got into the harvest.


I figure we got about a quarter bushel.

Now, every recipe I could find online accounted for about 8 cups, or 9 cups of berries. You had to add 1, or 2 cups of water to simmer the berries in. Strain out the seeds and pulp, put it back on the stove with pectin, boil, add sugar, boil hard and can.

Being the Hughes family, we decided to wing it. I couldn't see an 1880's housewife carefully measuring her harvest and cooking accordingly, there had to be a better way.

We washed all of the berries, removing any leaves or little bugs that had come for the ride. We threw them all into a pot, and added about 1/8th of the total volume of water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 min.

Then we strained out the seeds and pulp.


It was at this point that I decided to take a leaf out of David Lebovitz's book. In his Red Currant recipe, he measures the resulting pulp after straining, adds equal amounts of sugar, boils it up and cans it. While that's perfectly appropriate for red currants, which are high in pectin, we weren't sure that was the case with these Autumn Olives.

Weighing the pulp gave us 5lbs, 11 ounces of juice. We plopped it back on the stove with 2 containers of pectin (better safe then sorry), and brought that to a boil. Then we added 5lbs, 11 ounces of sugar, and brought it back to a rolling boil for 1 min.

Jar.


We ended up with 14 jars of jam that looked very similar to ketchup, and tasted somewhat like a white currant or cranberry. Most wild berries tend to have a generic 'berry' flavour like this.

Keep in mind! Lycopene isn't water soluable, so you might notice that your jam 'seperates' into a clear/white and red layers. This is perfectly normal, and your jam hasn't spoiled! Just mix it in and go on eating it, you're fine.

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