This week long hiatus is due to life – those 50+ hour work weeks, and house keeping take far too much time. Why can’t it be the other way around – can all day and work when I want to. Even my poor garden is being neglected but that does mean that the harvests are much larger. At last count we were able to pull 30 tomatoes in one go in addition to the many (large) cucumbers, okra (plus one really funny curved one – see above), and various peppers. Now, the problem is trying to find time to put it all up as well as coming up with new ideas on how to preserve the fresh produce.
First major problem – my pantry had exploded (or is it imploded…hmm) and I could no longer store my canned goods on the shelves without stacking – (Before I get too far – yes, you may stack 2 jars high – per Ball – but should have cardboard in between jars. Although storing jars should seem like a no-brainer, there are actual safety measures that need to be taken into consideration.). I then took it upon myself to empty out my entire walk-in pantry, and reorganize.
(Note to self – keep the pantry organized since that took entirely too long to clean!) But once that was done, the Dill Pickles were finally able to make their way into the pantry for storage along with their other home-canned friends 🙂
Next issue – the freezer. I have been (SLOWLY) working my way through all of the fruit stored away in my freezer by making delicious (if I do say so myself) jams 🙂 Last night’s battle was Mango & Raspberry Jam. In the process of cutting up the frozen mangoes I realized two things 1) I always forget how much I hate cutting up mangoes (I GLADLY accept any and all ideas on how to make this a million times easier) and 2) I actually much prefer mangoes frozen than fresh! Once we were able to cut off enough fruit from the pit for our recipe / it started becoming increasingly more difficult, we nibbled on the leftovers and boy was it delicious. Reminded me of a fresh home-made mango sorbet. YUM! Most importantly – you can see how simple canning jams/jellies really can be.
Mango and Raspberry Jam
[Yield: (7) Half-Pints]
Materials: (all materials can be found on The Necessities for reference)
- 7 half-pint jars (plus flat lids and bands/rings) [Hint: As always, I recommend an extra jar or two – I had a good 6oz+ extra.]
- Kitchen scale (if using a canister of pectin. Not required if using pre-measured batches)
- 1 water bath
- 1 funnel
- 1 jar lifter
- 1 stainless steel ladle
- 1 large stainless steel pot (or dutch oven)
- 1 dish towel (large enough for the jars to cool on)
- 1 1/2 cup crushed raspberries (measure once crushed – for reference, I used (2) 6oz containers)
- 3 cups chopped/diced mangoes (measure once chopped/diced – for reference, I used (2) mangoes)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, bottled
- 5 cups sugar (I used 4 1/2 cups)
- 1.75oz of Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin
Quick note – since this recipe involves the use of pectin, it is not recommended to scale the recipe however, you may adjust (i.e. lower) the sugar quantity based on the type of pectin used as well as your preference. Do note that you can’t dramatically adjust the amount of sugar with the pectin used below since the pectin needs the sugar to thicken.
- Inspect each of your jars for cracks, chips, and/or any other questionable markings before use.
- Place wire rack into bottom of water bath with ‘arms’ up to allow jars to be placed.
- Fill your water bath with enough water to cover each of the jars with 2-3″ of liquid and place on burner to warm jars (simmer but do not boil).
- Wash and peel each mango. Then, dice into small pieces until measuring 3 cups and put into pot.
- Wash and mash raspberries until measuring 1 1/2 cups and add to mangoes.
- Measure out 1.75oz of dry pectin and add to fruit mixture.
- Bring fruit and pectin mixture to a boil over medium heat stirring frequently.
- Once boiling, add all sugar and return to a boil.
- Boil hard for 1 minute while stirring continuously (This means that no matter how much you stir, the mixture continues to boil consistently.) then remove from heat.
- Remove empty jars from water bath by lifting the wire rack and setting the arms on the rim of the water bath. Then, using jar lifter empty and remove the jar from the water.
- Place funnel in jar and carefully ladle hot jam into each jar keeping a 1/4in head space. [Head space is the distance from the top of the jar to the food filling the jar.]
- Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth ensuring that the rims are clean.
- Place flat lid and screw band on jar and finger tighten. [Hint: Place the jar on a towel and using only your fingers, tighten the band until your jar spins on the towel.]
- Once finger tightened, return to warm water bath to avoid thermal shock. [Thermal shock is the cracking of jars from an extreme temperature swing such as putting hot food into a cold jar.] Lower wire rack once full.
- Place lid on canner, return to high heat and bring water to a full rolling boil.
- Once boiling, set timer for 10 minutes [refer to your elevations processing time for correct info].
- After 10 minutes, turn off heat and remove the lid. Wait an additional 5 minutes.
- Once again, lifting wire rack and placing arms on canner rim, use the jar lifter to remove your filled jars and place on a towel in a cool & draft-free location.
- Wait 24 hours before touching the jars. After 24 hours, remove the bands and pick up each jar from the flat lid (this will help ensure that each jar is truly sealed). Once the seal is verified, you may wash the exterior of the jars, dry, label, and store for future use.