Wednesday, March 21, 2012

California Fruit Salad Jam

I've been making a ton of jam lately.  Mostly to preserve what I can get on sale at the grocery store, but also to try out new stuff.  Some of which has been so good it's made it into my 'make every year' category. 

So today, as I am cleaning up and getting ready for the days off with Hubby I finish up making all the jam I possibly ever could in one day.  Lets see...

A batch of Kiwi Jam from the Ball Canning book (it's not on their website, although I just found another recipe I want to try on the site!  Ugh).

A batch of Blackberry-Strawberry-Orange Jam that I adapted from this recipe Blackberry-Blueberry Orange Jam which I have to say was out of this world jam!  So do try it if you can.  I just love the concept of 6 cups of berries to the sugar.  Not to mention the Orange zest that I made earlier this year totally gives the jam an awesome taste and smell.

I then made a batch of Carrot Cake Jam which is pretty much a staple and talk of the town around here about now.  I walked into a local store and heard... "aren't you the one that made that Carrot jam?"  Ummm, yes, that could have been me.  I actually only use 4 1/2 cups of sugar on this recipe though and I don't use pectin in my jam.  It seems to really cut down on the over sweetness and bring out the flavor of the carrot cake taste.   To get around the no pectin use, which is how they made it in the old days.. I just boil it to 220' and while stirring it... continue to test for the 'gel method' on the back of the spoon.  Usually after 20-30 minutes I totally have it. 

I also have been known to trade the Carrot Cake Jam.  It's good for getting more mason jars and a slew of other stuff.  It's that good!!

So today, after making all the jams I looked in the fridge and was left with several items.  Partial fruit, that well, I don't want anything to go to waste.  So, I started to dump.  I was originally going to call this 'Everything But...' Jam.  However, it looks and tastes like a spoon full of California Fruit Salad.  The salad I used to make from my fridge out of whatever was found in the fridge after the trip from the farmers market down the street! 

Can we just say Awesome!!!! 

Having lived in the Central Valley for over 20 years I was a spoiled little brat when it came to fresh fruit!  The walnuts I would get for free just from gleeming them after the farmers harvest, I miss!  The lemons I would get from my tree in the backyard I dream of!  The overall taste of the fruit alone is something I long for.  It's just not the same!

California Fruit Salad Jam

3 Kiwi's cut in small pieces
1/2 to 1 cup of pineapple pieces crushed
1 1/2 Pears cut up diced like
1 1/2  Medium to Large Apples (I used Braeburns because that's what was on sale)

I basically cut the fruit till I got to 6 cups.  So keep adding till you get to that magic 6 cups!

Add to the pot.  Bring it to a boil and reduce and cover for about 5 minutes while it softly boils.

In the meantime:

Toast a handful of walnuts (about 1/2 cups worth)  Once toasted then chop them up in small pieces.
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Set these aside in a bowl to use later.

Uncover the fruit and add 4 cups of sugar all at once and bring back to a boil.  Boil till it reaches 220 and continue to boil till you get the 'gel test' or the consistency you like jam to be at this stage.

(You could just add pectin at the normal stage and save all the boiling and stirring.  If you want.  I just like doing it without.)

Take it off the stove and stir in the coconut and walnuts. 

Laddle into hot jars and cap with the 2 piece caps as you usually do for jam making.
Process in a boiling bath method for 10 minutes and sit back to listen for them sealing.

It made about 5 - 1/2 pint jars for me. 

Tomorrow morning as I go to make my Hubby his breakfast, I will be spooning this jam on my toast and remembering the sunny morning breakfasts we had out on our patio each morning! Surrounded by lavender and hydrangea's!  I miss that spot! 

Note to self.... Recreate this spot up here in Oregon pronto!!!

And at times......

My pal Oscar!  Who would come keep me company on my days off when Hubby had to work.

This Pansy is for my aunt!! From my Garland home!  Who knew we loved the same flowers!

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