Recipes

Homemade Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam

Yup, a third recipe. Don’t worry — back to crafts after this. I couldn’t help it though 🙂 I never ever bake or cook exciting things, so when I do I feel compelled to share. Remember Mean Girls and “word vomit“? It’s like that. … it’s blog vomit. Weird, but it sorta works.

Moving on… After you are done making your amazing strawberry jam, try your hand at making some blackberry jam. I was in Costco and saw a huge thing of blackberries and had to buy them to make some jam for my momma. I know she loves her some blackberry jam.

This recipe is fairly similar to the strawberry one. Here goes.

I filled a quart-sized baggie with blackberries and smashed the heck out of them. I didn’t want to chop them up, and they are soft enough that squishing does the trick.

Looks yummy already, huh?

Blackberries

I poured my blackberries into my jam maker, adding a tablespoon of butter and 1.5 tablespoons of pectin.

After four minutes, I added the sugar. I added 1 1/3 cups to this batch. Blackberries aren’t always as sweet as I’d like, so I added more to this jam than I did to the strawberry jam.

Let the jelly maker do its job (remember, this can be done on the stove, too!) and can immediately after the jam is done.

If you plan on eating some right away, put it in the fridge. Once it is cool, slather it on some toast an enjoy.

Blackberry Jam on Toast

Recipes

Homemade Apple Chips

Apple Chips 6

Two recipes in a row?! You are gonna be so shocked when I’m sharing a third tomorrow 🙂

Today’s recipe is for a super healthy snack: Apple Chips!

I found a recipe on Pinterest from Maggie at Vittles and Bits and just had to try it out. I tweaked mine just a bit and now am a total addict. Just what I need, one more thing to be addicted to!

I grabbed some Golden Delicious apples from the store for my chips (Maggie used Red Delicious) and set them aside to be sliced.

Then, I lined three baking sheets with parchment paper. This probably goes without saying, but since I am not a total foodie I had no idea there was a difference between wax paper and parchment paper. Rookie move. I ended up destroying a baking pan because of that, so make sure you have the right kind of paper.

Spray your parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

Apple Chips 1

Start to slice your apples. I used three for this batch. Slice them as thinly as you can and lay them on the parchment paper. I cut some of mine in slices, others in circles going straight through the core. Either way works, just make sure there aren’t any seeds.

If you have a dog, make sure no seeds fall onto the floor. They aren’t good for dogs (or anyone, really). Just sayin’.

Once your baking sheets are covered in the thin slices, I sprinkled a mixture of Splenda and cinnamon on them. You can bake them without either, with just cinnamon, with just Splenda, with sugar… blah blah blah, you get the idea. Use your imagination. On one of my baking sheets I lightly drizzled honey on the apples — it added a really nice flavor. Next time I make them, I want to sprinkle nutmeg on top. Yum!

Apple Chips 2

Now, time to bake! I set my oven to 215 F and put those suckers in for 2.5 hours. They take a while to dry out all the way, but they make your house smell amazing the whole time. Totally worth the wait.

Apple Chips 3

When you take them out, your super thin slices will be extra crispy. Some of your thicker slices might not be all of the way dry. I found that if you put them into a container they finish drying out. Or, you can eat them that way, too. Still delicious.

Apple Chips 5

Now your chips are done. Eat to your heart’s content. It is fruit after all 🙂

Apple Chips 7

Thanks for the inspiration, Maggie!

Recipes

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam

I got the most random appliance for Christmas (I asked for it, btw) — a jelly and jam maker! I absolutely love making homemade jams and jellies and thought I’d share a recipe or two with you guys.

Today I made strawberry jam. It’s the hubby’s favorite and it is so soooo delicious. I like making my own because I don’t have to put nearly as much sugar in it as the store-bought jellies. Plus, it is tastier.

Here’s what you need (yes, real measurements! I know, that’s crazy coming from me.):

  • 2 lbs Strawberries
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tbsp pectin
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Before I start I should add that this recipe will work on the stove as well. The jam maker is preset to make jam or jelly and has a stirrer in the middle so nothing burns. It’s just a glorified pot. (But it is awesome!)

First, cut up your strawberries into little bits. If you like your jam chunkier, leave some bigger chunks of the fruit.

Next, mash your berries with a potato masher to get some of the juices loose and the strawberries extra squishy.

IMG_0062

Add your strawberries, butter and pectin to your jam maker and turn it on. In my jam maker, the preset time for jam is 21 minutes. If you make it on the stove, cook on medium heat for about the same amount of time.

Side note: I had no idea what pectin was before I started experimenting with my jam maker, so here’s what I’ve learned. Pectin is a natural substance found in apples that helps fruit to gel up. For fruits with a lot of pectin in them, you do not have to add pectin to make the jam or jelly (although it doesn’t hurt). Berries don’t have a lot of pectin, so you need the added stuff. I buy mine on Amazon.

After 4 minutes, add in your sugar. Cover and walk away and let the pot do its work.

Jam

Come back in 21 minutes to a steamy pot full of delicious jam. If you want to can your jam, do it immediately while the jam is still boiling hot and you won’t have to boil your jars to seal them. Simply place your seal and your lid onto the can after it is full, then flip it upside down. The heat from the jar’s contents will seal the jar and make it last for about a year.

The jam will also burn badly if you spill it on yourself. I learned this the hard way after spilling a bunch of boiling peach jam on my hand. Be careful!!!

If you are going to use some right away, plop it into a container and place it in the fridge. Once it is cool, try it out!

jam on toast

(Don’t just my white bread. … It’s what the hubby likes and mine was out :p)

The main reason I am sharing this recipe is that when I got my jelly and jam maker it came with a recipe book. This recipe book called for a ton more pectin (which is expensive) and a TON more sugar. I’m talking three cups. Gross. I think the recipe I have here is a really good one that I plan to use from now on with this jam.

Enjoy!