Strawberry Jam and More Plums!

Thursday, July 26, 2012
I was able to find time to do two - that right, TWO - full batches of strawberry jam today!  Yay me!!!  (Not an easy feat with a nursing 6-month-old who is grumpy from getting shots yesterday.)

It actually went really fast, but maybe a little too fast.  My jars of strawberry jam always come out separated, with the fruit floating to the top.  I'm thinking it is because I use the food processor to pulse the strawberries (to save time) rather than mashing them with a potato masher.  The food processor makes the fruit more of a puree with smaller chunks that break down in the heat and sugar and so I get a half-jam/half-jelly type mixture...does that sound like it might be the cause?  Any other ideas and/or suggestions?  The jam is still edible, it's just that the fruit bits end up on top, so it looks a bit funny in the jar, and then the top inch or so of the jam is chunkier than the rest of the stuff.

Still not sure what went wrong with the plum jam...The fruit was not overripe, and I didn't process it any longer than it was supposed to.  I had the right ratios for fruit and sugar.  Not sure what caused the runny jam.  I'm toying with redoing the batch, but I'll have to run to the store for more lids and pectin first. 

There are so many plums on my tree - I went out and picked another 5-gallon bucket full tonight. I'll do another batch or two of jam and maybe see if I have the same setting problems with the new batches as well.  The plums are ripe and ready to go, and apparently the birds have noticed because there were a bunch of them out in the tree this evening.  I'd like to get another bucket picked tomorrow before the birds totally wipe the tree clean - hope my luck will hold out!

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