By Marisa McClellan, Food in jars
One of the very best things about growing up in Oregon was that during their season, we had very easy access to berries. My father was devoted to his garden and tended his cluster of blueberry and raspberry bushes with a careful hand. What’s more, wild blackberries can be found in parks and empty lots all over the Portland area. It just makes sense that I’m a berry lover.
When I first started canning on my own, I did what so many of us do. I made massive batches of jam. I’d start with strawberries and work my way through the season until August when I was surrounded by glowing jars. The problem was that in my small household, there was no way that we could eat or even gift our way through all that jam.
Then I discovered small batch canning. I found that I could get better sets and manageable yields from these tiny batches. Finally, I could have my berries and eat them too!
The Honey Sweetened Strawberry Jam employs one of my very favorite small batch techniques. Cooked in a 12-inch stainless steel skillet, the wide surface area of the pan means that the water can evaporate easily from the fruit without cooking the essence of the berry flavor out of the jam. You can choose to can it for shelf stability or simply eat it out of the fridge for a week or two.
The Pickled Blueberries are a more recent addition to my canning repertory, but no less valued than my other preserves. I like to add a few to green salads that are in need of a sweet-tart boost. The leftover pickling liquid also makes a great component in homemade salad dressings.
I think you’ll find that the Mixed Berry Jam is just the thing when you have odds and ends roaming around, but not enough of any one thing to make a whole batch. It’s a particularly good way to use up the ends of last summer’s frozen fruit.
Honey Sweetened Strawberry Jam Recipe
Mixed Berry Jam Recipe
Pickled Blueberries Recipe