Anyberry Jam

We recently had the delight and honour of attending a beautiful wedding to celebrate our fantastic friends, Meghan and Shaun.

As expected and anticipated, the wedding was beautiful, they were beautiful, the weather was not beautiful, but everything came together and it was a love-filled and inspiring day.

This is a picture of Meghan and Shaun as they usually are …

And this is a picture of them, all dressed up and behaving themselves …

As you may have gathered, this couple has personality!

When I requested Meghan’s delicious jam recipe, it arrived in my inbox a day later and the recipe and instructions cracked me right up. I have decided to leave the recipe here, unedited, in the same words that Meghan sent me. For those of you reading this who know Meghan, you will see just how “Meghan” it is. Not only is Meghan hilarious and fun to be around, she is one of those people in life who help you remember not to take things too seriously, and she reminds you that life is sweet. So sweet in fact, that if you’re lucky, it may just be jam packed … with love.

Meghan and Shaun’s Jam (Jam-Packed with Love…and Sugar!)

What you’ll need:

Juice from 1/2 a lemon
4 cups of berries
3 cups of sugar

Special tools:

potato masher, big pot, jars, tongs, oven mitt, apron, damp cloth, measuring cups, stickers, a lover
This recipe can be scaled up!

1. Pick several buckets of berries with your lover. LOTS. Wear long pants and bug spray. Bring a rake to pull down the big branches. Watch for bears.

2. Sterilize your jars…we use the dishwasher. Afterward we put the jars into the oven at the lowest temperature to await their destiny.

3. Wash your delicious berries: raspberry, blackberry, tayberry, whateverberry–combos are delicious!

4. Put your berries in a large pot and crush them with a potato masher. I usually crush mine before measuring to get a more accurate count.

5. Cook for about 15 minutes. This will reduce the juices and get things started.

6. Add the lemon juice and the sugar and bring to a boil. The lemon juice adds to the natural pectins in the fruit (and to the flava flave). Only cheaters add pectin says my husband’s grandma, and I agree.

7. This part can get a little scary, but don’t worry. The jam will get a little frothy and angry for a bit, but keep stirring, and lift off the heat for a second if it comes too close to the top of the pan. This probably only happens with large batches like we made for the wedding. If you need to get an overflow pot going to ease your mind you can. Just combine the two after everything calms back down.

8. NOW comes the hardest part. When is the jam done? There are a couple ways to tell. You can do the double drip test. Dip a spoon into the jam. When you pull it out if two drips form IMMEDIATELY you’re done. If one drip forms, keep boiling. You’ll know it when you see it. The other test is to use a candy thermometer. The jam should reach 214ºF. I find that it usually boils for 45 minutes at least. Just keep stirring to avoid burning.

9. After the jam is jamified, it’s time to jar it. You don’t need to do a water boil to seal the jam. It will seal from the heat! Pull out one jar from the oven (hot hot hot be careful) and fill with jam leaving 1/2″ at the top. Wipe off any jam on the rim and cover with a lid (the sealing lid + ring type). You don’t need to screw the lid on super duper tight. Just as much as you normally would do.

10. Fill the jars!

11. Place the jars on a heat-safe surface, like a butcher block. The jars will be extremely hot. After about an hour you’ll start to hear Ping! Ping! as the jars seal up. If the buttons on the lids aren’t depressed the next day then your jam didn’t seal. Fail. 🙁 It’s better to just place it in the fridge and consume over the next couple weeks than to try to reseal.

12. After the jars cool down you can label them and give them away!

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