Friday, 19 June 2015

Haskap Jam

Wow, this was a surprise! We've been growing haskaps for three years now, and for the first time we had a sufficient quantity to make jam. If you read my description of haskap berries, you will know we were not wildly excited by them as a fruit, although they are easy to grow and produce at a convenient time. It's also pretty impressive that it has taken only 3 years to get to this point. Mind you, we do have 5 bushes producing fruit.

But the surprise is how much we really like this jam. It's delicious! Far more delicious than I would have supposed from eating the fruit raw, or having a few tossed in muffins. The flavour is hard to describe; most people describe haskaps as tasting like a cross between blueberries and raspberries, but I don't see it. They don't taste like blueberries at all to me, raspberries maybe a little, but mostly because they are both quite tart. A little plummy, maybe. But whatever it is they taste like, as jam they taste like mysterious essence of fruit.

I looked up haskap jam recipes before I made this, and most of the ones I saw were standard old-school combinations of one part berries to one part sugar, with a little lemon juice. The lemon juice seemed like a good idea but even with haskap berries being as tart as they are, equal amounts of sugar seemed like way too much for me. I cut it in half, and I'm happy with the results. It is still a quite tart jam, but I like it that way. In fact, this is still more sugar than I use in most of my jams. I would not use any less with haskaps though, and if you want your jam sweeter, you can obviously use more.

p.s. Am I back? Maybe. A little bit. The blog will continue to be on the back burner for a while, but I'm hoping to post occasionally. 

Makes 3 250 ml jars
2 hours - 1 1/4 hours prep time

4 cups haskap berries
2 cups sugar
the juice of 1/2 lemon

Put the empty jars in a canning kettle and cover with water. Turn on the burner and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, wash and de-stem the haskap, and pick out any bad ones or debris. Put them in a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Keep at a rolling boil, stirring only occasionally, until the mixture reaches the gell stage; about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and skim off any obdurate foam that may have formed. Ladle into the jars, which may be removed from their boiling water bath once they have been boiled for 10 minutes. Wipe the lips and seal with lids and rims which have been brought to a boil.

Return the sealed jars to the boiling water bath, and boil for 5 minutes. Once the jars have sealed, label them with the month and year of their production, batch number if you are making more than one batch, and name. Keep them in a cool, dark place, but once opened, keep in the fridge.

Last  year at this time I made Radish Gazpacho and Creamy Asparagus Quiche with Ham & Cheddar


Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

Glad you are still posting! I have been following you for years, and with our own garden will be trying more of your recipes. Thank you.

Brenda said...

Glad to confirm I’m not the only one who thinks equal amount of sugar is too much. I’ve never made haskap jam before, but all the recipes except yours seem to say that. I’m off to make some jam!

Ferdzy said...

Brenda, I suppose I should mention that you will get a firmer/more traditional jam texture with more sugar. I find the 1 part sugar to 2 parts fruit ratio gets thick enough to stay on the toast though, so I am okay with that.

Brenda said...

Well, I’m glad I’m a procrastinator and didn’t make it yesterday. Gonna go with three cups instead. Wish me luck!

Ferdzy said...

Brenda, I'm sure it will be delicious. You can put in 2 cups, and once it is dissolved give it a taste - that will be a good indication of whether you want to add more or not. But jam is more forgiving than most people think and I'm sure it will be fine either way!

Sizeagai said...

Anybody ever try to make it with honey instead of sugar? I have quite an abundance of honey this year.