Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TOO-BLUE-Raspberry Jam and Strawberry Too!

Dad spotted these berries last year, and thought they might be a type of gooseberry.  I went searching for gooseberry recipes, and everything I found was green.  The berries taste good, and didn't poison us, so we ate them anyway.

Well, as luck would have it, just the other day, Kevin posted about his Saskatoon berry gleaning and I thought to myself, hmm...  those berries look familiar.  I did some internet research, and discovered that Saskatoons are native to Northern Canada- not just the prairies, and should taste similar to blueberries.  Well, folks, I believe we have a match.

And then I went picking.  Not enough to do anything with on their own, but there were raspberries growing alongside most of the plants.  And I had a yogurt container of blueberries sitting in the fridge already.  So it only seems logical, this being a bad berry year (late frost, dry spring), to mix it up.

Here's to my first batch of  TOO-BLUE-RASPBERRY JAM

    8 cups mix Saskatoons, Blueberries, and Raspberries
    6 cups sugar
    3 Tbsp lemon juice

    Rinse stem fruit.  Throw it all in the Magic Bullet juicer.   Add to pot.  Then I poured the seeds and pulp in a strainer to drip over top.  It lets a few seeds in, but you get most of the pulp as well.  Mix well.
    Add sugar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
    Add lemon juice; bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently until thick, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.
    Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space; wipe jar rims thoroughly.
    Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Not a bad haul for something I hadn't planned to do!

The next day, in the grocery store, I bought 6 pounds of strawberries on sale, 3/$5. US imports of course. I was too cheap to buy the fresh Ontario strawberries at $5/pound. Which made a lovely batch of Strawberry Jam.
My jam shelves have overflowed again, so I'm now working on the third.  Clearly I need to use it for more than just toast.

The beans are still going like gangbusters, so I've been slacking in the foraging department.  I might be able to squeeze in another batch of mixed berry jam this season, but I doubt I'll be doing any blueberry sauce or raspberry sauce.  It's just slim picking this year, and far too time consuming.


  1. Oh I wish I had raspberrys! I've got blackberrys coming out our ear but, alas, no raspberrys. This has been a very early year for the blackberrys to come on. Got two batches of jam made and one batch of pie filling canned.

    Those Saskatoons look yummy. What do they taste like? You'll have to make a straight batch with those as it looks like the color would be fabulous.

    Gotta laugh at the imported strawberrys being cheeper then the local berry. But that sounds about right.

    Doesn't it feel good to have all these wonderful goodies filling our pantry AND knowing the ingredients(and being able to pronounce them) in the jars?

    1. lol, I planted my first blackberry bush this spring. I'm hoping it'll survive the winter and fruit next year.

      I tried pie filling with blueberries once, but it was so gelled in the jars I had to heat it to spread it. What's your secret?

      The Saskatoons are similar to blueberries, but sort of richer, and a different texture. Sort of like a blueberry crossed with applesauce, lol. They are really good. I'll be checking in the woods this week, but I doubt I'll find enough this year to do a straight batch of anything. :(

      Crazy, isn't it? Someday I'll make it to the pick your own and leave all my guilt behind...

      Yes, it definitely feels good to see the shelves filling back up. Last winter left us with little to choose from. I just need to find more uses for the stuff we have an abundance of, and quit relying on things I can't grow.

    2. Yeah, I'm not too happy with how the pie filling turned out. Way too gel'ly! I'm thinking the next batch I'll just can them with sugar and no clearjel (fancy canning cornstarch) or cut way back on the clearjel. First time for that recipe. But the flavor is great.

  2. You can put jelly over ice cream, cake or cookies. Put it over meat you are roasting. I love jelly or jam on pancakes or waffles, plus biscuits or toast or pbj sandwiches. But, eating so much jam is not part of my plans. You have lots of jam eaters! Oh, I like jelly or jam in unsweetened cereal and oats. Jelly/jam is better over pancakes than maple syrup.

    I won't eat the local strawberries because the ones from California taste so much better. I am sorry, but a bitter berry grown locally does not trump sweet from 3000 miles away. AND California strawberrie are cheaper!

    1. I don't think jam on a roast would go over too well here, lol. On cereal would be interesting though. We do use it on ice cream, and I started baking fruit bread with it last year. That's blasphemy about the maple syrop though. Nothing is better on pancakes, lol. I do make my own fruit syrops though, since we have no maple trees, maple syrop is a rare treat.

      That's pretty strange, that your local berries would be bitter. I'm sure the Ontario berries would have tasted divine, their colour was incredible. They probably wouldn't have made it into the jam pot though.