Friday, July 1, 2011

We're Jammin', Jammin', and I Hope You Like Jammin' Too!

On the way back from my MOMS Club chapter's annual garage sale fundraiser last weekend, I stopped for a guy selling flats of strawberries on the roadside. I got a big cardboard box of strawberries for $12, and half a box of mangoes (approximately 10 smallish ones) for $7.
Now, what to do with them before they go bad?

One of my friends was talking about making freezer jam, so I looked up strawberry freezer jam recipes. Okay. Not too tough, and they all say to follow the recipe in the package of pectin you buy, and not to substitute. Oookay. While I was at it, I looked up mango freezer jam recipes as well, and even found a strawberry-mango freezer jam recipe. Score!
I bought a box of regular pectin (Sure-Jell) and a box of their low- or no-sugar-added recipes pectin (which we didn't end up using; my husband was done after the first batch.)

So I guilted enlisted my husband's help, and we decided to make mango jam first.

Mango Freezer Jam (Sure-Jell Quick & Easy recipe)
4 medium mangoes (to make 3-cup mashed mangoes)
2 lemons (to make 1/4-cup fresh lemon juice
5-cups sugar
1 box Sure-Jell pectin
3/4-cup water
Enough (pre-washed and dried) plastic jam jars or Tupperware-style containers to hold 6 cups of jam

(My husband was peeling the fourth one)
Step 1: Peel, pit and mash mangoes.
She did a surprisingly good job of mashing the mangoes.
Measure exactly 3 cups into a separate bowl.
...Except... we only had 1.5 cups. And two of the four smaller mangoes we had left weren't looking too awesome. So I quickly looked up the strawberry-mango freezer jam recipe. She said she used 2 cups of fruit total, 4 cups of sugar and only 2tbsp lemon juice. Okay. So we used the 1.5c mango and then added 1/2c strawberries.
I let him mash the berries. They were harder.

Step 2: Add sugar and lemon juice; mix thoroughly. [We used bottled lemon juice.] Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
...Except... my husband accidentally ignored the new recipe and added the original 1/4c lemon juice. Oops. Oh well. Hope for the best. He did only add the 4 cups of sugar.

Step 3: Stir 1 box pectin and 3/4c water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute; stir constantly. Remove from heat.

Step 4: Stir pectin into fruit/juice mixture. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved; roughly 3 minutes.

Step 5: Pour into prepared containers, leaving 1/2-inch space at top; cover.

Step 6: Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or freeze for up to 1 year (thaw in fridge before use.)

Modified Mango-Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe:
1 1/2-cup mashed mango
1/2-cup mashed strawberries
4-cups sugar
1/4-cup lemon juice
1 box Sure-Jell pectin
3/4-cup water

It set fantastically well. I had a midnight snack of peanut-butter toast and went to add some jam, even though I figured it would still be runny, but it was already set! Perfect spreadability!

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