Come to think about it, if you like really good beer and you've spent five minutes in this state then you know about New Glarus Brewery.
New Glarus Brewery is this incredibly fantastic micro-brewery that makes incredibly fantastic beer (Spotted Cow anyone?). They only use locally sourced ingredients, and they only sell their beer in Wisconsin (sorry non-Wisconsinites. Guess you need to come visit!). And while of course they do more classically flavored beers, they also do several fruit beers. They are especially known for their cherry beer.
Well, a couple years ago there was this drought. Remember that drought? Anyway, the cherry crop was practically annihilated, but they had to produce this beloved beer! No seriously, there would be rioting in the streets without their cherry beer. It had to be made, but what could they do without the cherries they needed? Well, they included a few other fruits with the cherries and called in Serendipity: a happy accident. Hot damn it's one of my favorite beers.
So why am I telling you all this? Because it's my way of telling you that this jam is my own Serendipity. My own happy accident.
Three Berry Honey Jam
Recipe adapted from Gastronome Tart
Prep time: Depending on your fruit-prep equipment, allow for an hour Cook time: 30ish minutes
NOTE: You can use fresh OR frozen (but thawed) berries.
6 cups of washed, hulled, and crushed strawberries (psst! This is done way faster with a food processor)
1 cup washed and crushed blueberries
1 cup washed and crushed raspberries
1 cup honey
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp pectin
1. In a medium-to-large saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients.
|I made a double-batch this year using up the remaining frozen strawberries from LAST year.|
And yes, I regularly buy honey in 5lb bottles.
2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil for 1-2 minutes. Wear comfy shoes because this will take some time. Your patience will be rewarded.
|Stirring, stirring, stirring. Patience, patience, patience.|
3. Turn off the heat and scrape off any foam. Store in sterilized containers of your choice, whether you intend to freeze it, or can it (I've got a little tutorial on canning in this post).
|Foam isn't bad. It's just annoying and not pretty.|
|It's also bitter. Don't eat the foam.|
|I like to save my freezer space for Get Ahead meals and the like.|
It's more of a time commitment, but canning is the way I prefer to preserve jams.
About two years ago I went to make a third batch of strawberry honey jam. I had some berries left from our strawberry-picking trip and wanted to use them up. And I especially liked this recipe because it used honey instead of sugar, and far less than a classic strawberry jam recipe. When you've got a crazy, energetic child who easily gets high on simple things like breathing air, you tend to think about things like sugar content.
But I didn't have enough strawberries. Craaaaaaaap.
A quick dig through my freezer yielded part of a bag of frozen raspberries, and I'd just picked up a pint of blueberries at the store. I crushed it all up, rejoiced that I'd reached the necessary 8 cups of fruit, and prayed that my berry ratios would be somewhat tasty.
Oh. My. Graciousness.
This jam is hands-down my favorite one. Probably ever. It is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, which I adore! And while the texture of this jam is closer to sauce-like than a gelatinous jam-like consistency, I don't really care because it's just sooooo good.
I eat spoonfuls of it on thick slices of fresh bread. I scoop it into yogurt. I happily use it in oatmeal bars. And it is the crucial ingredient for Berry Whiskey Barbecue Chicken, which if you haven't tried yet then you REALLY REALLY REALLY need to.
God bless happy accidents. :)