Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wild jam making

The birds out here at the archipelago have discerning tastes. I went out to the wild cherry tree which has half sour/sweet cherries, but they were all gone. Not a one to be seen, and then I fought with some wild raspberry canes, and got a little more than a few handfuls of berries out of my venture. I picked some red currants for good measure, and took the last snippets of wild strawberries (they seemed more like they were dried wild strawberries at this point), and made a jam. At the last moment, I threw in my disappointing doughnut peach, and voila, jam!

When I told my boyfriend I couldn't find any cherries, he asked me if I checked the several wild cherry trees on the property. I hadn't, so I went out and tried a cherry on the tree near the house. And alas, it wasn't half as tasty as the other cherries.

But my jam is delicious. I could imagine adding more peaches to fill it out next time if my raspberry content is so low. I ate a whole pint of gorgeous plump ones at work today after lunch, so I'm not too sore there weren't so many to be had.

It didn't turn out to be so much jam, but it's amazing. There's no formal recipe on this one. I threw in four handfuls of wild raspberries, four wizened wild strawberries, and about ten red currants and one doughnut peach peeled. I boiled that sucker on the stove until the fruit released its juices and mashed it while it boiled. I added only a minimum of regular white sugar (I believe in the 65 fruit/35 sugar ratio and jams with very little pectin). Jams taste more vividly of fruit when the sugar added is lower. I sterilized the jam jar in boiling water, but I didn't sweat it because I'm eating this jam right away.

I also sieved the jam because nothing has more seeds than wild raspberries. They are almost essentially all seed! I foresee this as the beginning of many more jams to come!