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Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam
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This month's notes: April 2014: Blueberries are finishing in the Southern areas, still going in cooler areas, don't miss them! In most areas, peaches are going strong, as are figs. And apples have started. Sepetmber is the big month for apples! See each state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates. Organic farms are identified in green!  See our guide to local fruit and vegetable festivals!. See easy canning and freezing instructions/recipes, canning equipment guide! Also make your own ice cream - see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals
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Other Jam Recipes

Below are a number of unusual but tested jam recipes.  I haven't tried all of them myself, as many of them require exotic ingredients (or just don't appeal to me).  But if you like them, let me know how well they work for you!


Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups diced rhubarb;
  • 8 cups sugar;
  • 2 cups slice strawberries;
  • 2 large packages strawberry Jell-O;
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon;
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Using a large bowl, pour sugar over rhubarb and allow to stand overnight. In the morning, add the strawberries and stir to mix. Place the fruit-sugar mixture into large pan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Cook at least 2-3 minutes or until rhubarb is soft but not mushy. Stir in Jell-O and spices and bring to a boil again; stirring until dissolved. Pour into sanitized jars. Cap with sterile closures. Process in hot-water bath for 5 minutes. Remove from bath and allow to sit 24 hours, undisturbed. Clean the jars, label and store in cool place. It may take several days for natural pectin to set up. Yields 12-13 8oz. jars.

Chokecherry Jam

3 C. pulp yields about 3 half-pints

Remove stems from chokecherries and wash. Drain. Add 1 C. water to every 4 C. of fruit. Place over low heat and simmer just until fruit is tender, stirring occasionally. Rub pulp through a medium sieve. Measure this and add an equal amount of sugar.

Place over moderate heat and stir until sugar has melted. Bring to a full rolling boil and cook until mixture sheets (220oF) off spoon. Stir frequently. Pour into sterile jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings. Water bath 10 minutes.

Holiday Cranberry Jam

2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1 medium orange
1/2 C. water
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed and crushed
3 C. sugar
2 pouches (1 pkg.) liquid fruit pectin

Finely chop or grind cranberries. Cut orange in quarters and remove seed; grind. Combine chopped fruits, water, crushed strawberries and sugar in a large pan; stir to blend.

Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in pectin. Skim off foam, if desired. Stir for 4-5 minutes; pour into sterile jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings. Water bath 10 minutes.

Spiced Mulberry Jam

Yields 3 half-pints

1 qt. prepared mulberries
3 C. sugar
1/4 C. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Stem mulberries (some green berries are ok) and cover with cold salt water. Use 1/4 C. salt to 1 qt. water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water for 3 minutes.

Crush berries. Add sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook slowly, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Boil rapidly (stirring constantly to prevent scorching) until gel point is reached. Remove from heat and skim if necessary. Pour into sterile jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings. Water bath 10 minutes.

Tomato Marmalade

Makes 6 half-pints

1 medium orange, peeled and quartered
2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped (4 1/2 C.)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 inches stick cinnamon, broken
2 tsp. whole cloves
5 C. sugar

Seed and quarter orange. Slice orange quarters crosswise very thinly over bowl to catch juice. In 5 qt. pan, combine orange slices, juice, tomatoes and lemon juice. Tie cinnamon and cloves in cloth bag and add to tomato mixture.

Bring to boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in sugar. Bring to full boil, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches gel stage, about 7 minutes or longer. Remove from heat. Remove spice bag. Skim if necessary. Pour into sterile jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings. Water bath 10 minutes.

Watermelon Marmalade

Makes 6 half-pints

3 lb. watermelon rind
3 lemons
1 pkg. (1 3/4 oz.) powdered pectin
5 C. sugar

Trim dark green and pink parts from watermelon rind. Cut rind into small chunks (about 6 cups). Chop fine or coarsely grind. Measure 4 C. pulp including juice. Set aside.

Squeeze juice from lemons. Reserve peel of 2 lemons. Measure 1/2 C. lemon juice and set aside. Remove excess white from reserved lemon peels. Cut peel into very fine strips. Place lemon peel in 5 qt. pan, cover with water, bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Drain, discard cooking liquid.

Add ground watermelon rind and liquid to lemon peel in pan. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain liquid into a 2 C. measuring cup. (Add water to make 2 C., if necessary.)

Return liquid to pan with rind and peel. Add lemon juice. Stir in pectin and bring to a full rolling boil. Add sugar and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam, if necessary. Pour into sterile half-pint jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings. Water bath 10 minutes.

Cactus Jam

2 qt. cactus fruits (prickly pear measured before cut).

Wash and remove skins, cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Cook until transparent in syrup of:

1 1/2 C. sugar
5/8 C. water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 slice of orange 1/2" thick (remove before filling jars)

Pour into sterile jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings. Water bath 10 minutes.


Remember to ALWAYS call the farm or orchard BEFORE you go - weather, heavy picking and business conditions can always affect their hours and crops!


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