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I'm Jammin

I'm obsessed with canning. I admit it. For the Putting Up Event I made the most unusual Watermelon Rind Preserves. I was rather surprised that most of my commenter's had not heard of this specialty. But that's whats blogging is for, to learn new things. This time I wanted to do something a little sweeter and more traditional. I was worried that I would need massive quantities to make fruit preserves. Actually you don't need so much and its recommended you make small batches. I purchased about 8 apricots and a pound of cherries. I envisioned these two together in a yummy preserve. As I prepped and stoned the fruit I had the sudden inspiration to add a vanilla bean. A lot of the seeds got caught up in the foam but the vanilla flavor shined through. I added a tad of butter to decrease foaming but I still got some. Foaming , experts believe. adds to spoilage. Another thing you have to worry about is the pectin setting. I need to stock up on pectin! I processed this and found after 24 hours the jam didn't set. The instructions on the pectin box said how you can redo the jam.The only thing wasted is the lids and bands.So I redid the batch to much better results.I'm wondering if I did add enough sugar. I ended up adding a cup more sugar than was previously used.The taste of the unset jam was fantastic!I was almost tempted to use it just as a fruit syrup. I'm just be going to be handing out these as gifts to friends and coworkers while keeping a few for us. I asked Certain Someone to give a jar of Watermelon rinds to his golf buddy and co worker. They had to call me to explain why it wasn't pink and what it actually was.I'm sure these fruity preserves wont be met with confusion.

Apricot Cherry Preserves with Vanilla Bean

1 pond of cherries
1 1/2 pounds of apricots ( about 8 or so)
6 cups natural cane sugar *I ended adding another cut when redoing the batch.
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup water
1 package of Pectin

Wash and stone fruit. Cut vanilla bean down the middle and scrape seeds. Add fruit and vanilla bean pulp with pod to heavy pan. Add sugar , water , and pectin. Bring to rolling boil as you stir. Scrape off any foam that rises. Take of heat and stir more. Laddle into sterilised jars, place lids, on , and process according to instructions. I used the pressure canner with a weight of 5 lbs and a process time of 10 minutes. Take out canner and let and set 24 hours. I f the jam doesnt set, redo as instructed on the package of pectin. If you choose to use no sugar or sugar substitutes use a pectin brand for less sugar.
Makes 8 half pints

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Ben said...

This year I need to make a lot of these preserves for the next winter. I bet the vanilla bean gave it a very delicious touch.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Nummy! That sounds so good - I would love some on ice cream right now! I love the added vanilla bean - one of my personal favorites!

linda said...

Delicious combination! Decided some time ago that I'll be making my own jam. Simple strawberry but that's one of my favourites. So now I'm just waiting for the price of strawberries to go down and I'll make a years supply (no idea how much that is). Maybe I'll try something fancy like you did too :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Interesting jam! It must taste great on a slice of Challah bread!



Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Oh that sounds so good. I really need to start canning. As of now I freeze everything even tomatoes!!!

L Vanel said...

Apricot cherry and vanilla sound like the perfect combination to me.

Mary said...

Your preserves sound great! When I was a kid my mom made all of our jams and jellie. She would scoop the foam off the batches and put it in a bowl. There is nothing better than that foam on buttered toast. Damn. Now I'm going to have to make jam. :)

Peter M said...

Courtney, they are a good combo and aren't they both ripe at the same time?

Clean, clean, clean and your canning should become easier each time. Thanks for sharing to save others some grief.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You are definitely intriguing me as far as canning goes. This sounds wonderful!

Kate / Kajal said...

i'm yet to make jam. U make it look so easy. But what if i cant find pectin ? is there a substitute ?

Blog Princess G said...

Yum yum. I have yet to make any sort of jam at all. I did used to help my grandma make her seville orange marmalade. Yum yum.

glamah16 said...

Here is a useful link about pectin substitutes.

Apples and plums are rich in pectin. A lot of people uses gelatain or agar agar .It gives more soild results. Some make it by adding apple puree, lemon and sugar to the jam.
I have a recipe for homemade pectin stock bascicly using 2 lbs cut cooking apples with cores and pips, boiled and simmered for 40 min. Placed in a jelly bagover a bowl to drain for 2 hours.Boiling drained juices for 20 min or until reduced by 1/3rd.This can be kept in the fridge for 1 week or the freezer for 4 months. Defrost before using.

jasmine said...

This looks fabulous -- hadn't heard of the butter trick wrt foaming before. I hope to do more canning this year (got the bug when making strawberry and blueberry james last summer). Will keep this recipe in mind.


Proud Italian Cook said...

Courtney you're so good at this! I think you got something going here, how bout "glamah Jam's"!! You could sell these at the farmers markets in the city! :D

Dhanggit said...

oh my goodness, all my favorite in one jar: apricot, cherry and vanilla!! oh i love this ..yummmy

cant wait to try,this summer our cherry and apricot trees will have its maximum yield this recipe will be very useful ..thanks

Sheltie Girl said...

Oh my goodness, I haven't thought about watermelon rind preserves in so many years. My grandmother used to have jars of this stuff in her canning shed. It's really good too.

Maybe the reason a lot of folks haven't heard of it is that it's one of those old food ways that people got away from when they stopped canning their own jams and jellies.

Wonderful job on the preserves.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Rose said...


You're like the Jammen Queen! ;)

I'm so keen on getting this event posted as everyone has made such a great contribution to the event.

Thanks so much!


Heather said...

Well, that settles it. I really need to start canning this year!

Megan said...

The vanilla beans sounds like it takes it over the top. I really need to can more. I didn't know that about the foam. Thanks for the info and a great recipe.

Kate / Kajal said...

thanks for tips. now i can surely try it home. will let you know how it goes :) thankx again

chou said...

Mmm. I so love you and your canning. Yum yum yum. Now to make my own.

The Caked Crusader said...

Nothing beats home made jam! Yours looks particularly delicious.

Rosie said...

This jam sounds fantastic coco and it looks So delicious :) Many thanks agin for another great entry!

Rosie x

Laurie said...

I have never had the desire before to make jam..watching my mom all those years pour wax over all those jars left a memory of a daunting task.
But your spectacular energy in your posts is changing my view..I just might make jam this summer. :) Megan also inspired me with her strawberry chocolate jam.
Did you change some pictures on your blog? Your site looks great! :)

Pixie said...

Thanks again coco for your entry- the round up is now up and running.