Using up the leftover fruit; more Alaska edibles

Between the rose hips we have in our freezer from a year past, the wild blueberries that were just gifted to us from a wonderful friend, and a bag of rhubarb that was gifted to us from yet another wonderful friend, we have a lot of fruit and vegetables to use up, especially before that birch sap goes into the freezer next month!

For more on that click on my blog Foraging from Nature; Birch Syrup
So this weekend we intend on turning all these bags into the following: Rhubarb Ginger Jam and Blueberry Lime Jam.

Please keep in mind, these are all recipes I get from online, they are not mine.  I have posted a link to the original website with each recipe. Also a side note, I didn't get to the rose hip jam even though I have a picture of it in the bag.  Obviously that will be a task for another weekend!

Rhubarb Ginger Jam
It will make about 3 lbs

2lbs trimmed rhubarb, chopped
2lbs sugar
Juice of 2 small lemons
1.75 tbsp fresh ginger
3.5 oz crystallized ginger, chopped

Preparation time 10 mins Cooking time 1 hr
Total time 1 hr 10 mins 

Mix the chopped rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl and leave
Bash the fresh ginger to break the root up a bit and tie in a muslin bag. Put
the rhubarb mixture and the ginger muslin bag in a heavy pan and boil
rapidly for 15 minutes.
Remove the fresh ginger bag, add the preserved ginger and boil again
until the rhubarb is clear.
Test for a set by taking a small spoon and place in freezer on a plate.  When you are ready to test for set take now cold spoon and get a small amount on spoon.  Place back in freezer for a minute or two to let cool.  If it does not slide off the spoon easily then it's ready to be placed in jars.  Skim the
surface of the jam with a slotted spoon then place in sterilized jars.  
Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Blueberry Lime Jam

6 half pints

4 1⁄2 cups blueberries
1 package dry pectin
5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
1⁄3 cup lime juice

Crush blueberries one layer at a time.
Combine crushed blueberries and pectin in a large sauce pot.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.
Stir in grated lime peel and lime juice.
Return to a rolling boil.
Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
remove from heat.
Skim foam if necessary.
Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
Adjust two-piece caps.
Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Yield: about 6 half-pints.

Now, I have one secret in each of these jams.  I didn't use store bought pectin.  Instead I harvested it, from my own yard!
This style of pectin does best when used in jams rather than jellies because it's not clear like store bought pectin.  Instead its rather pink in color and turns any jelly foggy.
For more on this little secret, click here.  I have how to pick it and process it.
My son even made a couple of easy dollars last year harvesting it from our yard!  
Knowing that I have this source of naturally occurring pectin in my own backyard makes me feel so much better!  I have a habit of sometimes needing to use a lot of extra pectin to get my jellies or jams to set so it's nice to know this grows in my own backyard!

Here's a video also on how to tell if your jam or jelly will set once in the jar.  Time and again I've found it so frustrating to work so hard on a jelly or jam only for it to not set and it just turns into syrup instead. 
These all really turned out great!  I have to give some of them back to the friends that gave me the fruit and vegetables in the first place!  Ever since I started canning, I love giving these away as gifts from time to time or I use them for trade.  After all, it's almost impossible to find Rhubarb ginger jam or Blueberry lime jam in a typical grocery store!

Hopefully this summer, we will be able to get even more fruits and vegetables that I can process.  It's always such a relief to go into winter with a full larder.  

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