CHRISTMAS JAM

Sweet and tart with a touch of Christmas spice! Eat this delicious strawberry and cranberry fruit spread with cream on freshly baked scones, serve on warm bread (or pikelets), or try making a batch of jam drop biscuits to share with family and friends. Enjoy and spread a little love!
         
Ingredients for CHRISTMAS JAM

6-7 Cup Batch
13-14 Cup Batch
Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1.1kg (2lbs, 7oz) fresh, unhulled
OR 1kg (2lbs, 3.5oz) frozen, hulled
2.2kg (4lbs, 14oz) fresh, unhulled
OR 2kg (4lbs, 7oz) frozen, hulled
Cranberries (fresh or frozen)
225g (1/2 pound)
450g (1 pound)
Water
1/2 cup
1 cup
Cinnamon Stick
1
2
Allspice, Ground
1/16 teaspoon (a pinch)
1/8 teaspoon (a dash)
Cinnamon, Ground
1/16 teaspoon (a pinch)
1/8 teaspoon (a dash)
Cloves, Ground
1/16 teaspoon (a pinch)
1/8 teaspoon (a dash)
Ginger, Ground
1/16 teaspoon (a pinch)
1/8 teaspoon (a dash)
Nutmeg, Ground
1/16 teaspoon (a pinch)
1/8 teaspoon (a dash)
Powdered Pectin (i.e. JamSetta)
1 1/2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons
Sugar, White
1.1kg (2lbs, 7oz)
2.2kg (4lbs, 14oz)
      
METHOD:
1. Sort fruit, discarding any spoilt, under-ripe or soft berries.
2. Weigh strawberries to determine the batch yield.
3. Sterilise all equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
4. Prepare clean, empty jars by boiling in a pot of water for 10 minutes before filling.
5. Hull, wash and drain fresh strawberries (or thaw frozen strawberries). Wash and drain cranberries.
6. Finely dice fruit – a second or two in a blender or food processor (with the water added) is helpful in chopping the fruit up quickly.
7. Combine finely diced fruit, water and spices in a wide, deep stainless steel pan.
8. Simmer fruit mixture (uncovered) over low-medium heat until fruit is soft, stirring occasionally.
9. Mash fruit for a rustic, country-style jam – or puree for a smooth jam consistency.
10. Bring fruit puree to a boil, sprinkle pectin over the surface and whisk well.
11. Bring mixture to a boil and add the sugar all at once. Whisk over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
12. Bring jam to a rolling boil - as high a boil as possible, the jam will foam and not stir down - and boil hard for 1 minute. 
13. Set jam aside for 1 minute off heat. Discard foam from the surface of the jam. The foam can be frozen for another use i.e. granola, flavouring yoghurt or baking. 
14. Check jam has reached gel stage (has set):
a) Freezer Plate Method - while you are boiling the jam, place three small saucers into the freezer. When ready to test for gel stage, remove the jam pot from heat. Remove one saucer from the freezer and place a spoonful of jam onto the chilled surface. Within 30 seconds, gelled jam will thicken and develop a skin (and when you push a spoon through the jam, it will be thick and not run when the saucer is angled). If the jam is still loose (runny), return jam to the stovetop and continue boiling for around 5 minutes or until ready to test with the second saucer.
TIP: Forgotten to put the plates into the freezer? Use a glass filled with iced water to chill several teaspoons to check the consistency instead.
b) Temperature Method: if the fruit, sugar, acidity and pectin in the jam mixture is balanced (ingredient ratios change with different fruits being used), jam will set (gel) at approximately 105°C (220°F). A sterilised stainless steel thermometer can be used to measure the temperature accurately. This method is not accurate with low-sugar jam, because low-sugar jams often have to be boiled for a longer period, and fresh fruit may vary with natural pectin levels.
c) Sheeting Method: mix jam and then lift the spoon above the pot and angle so the jam drips back into the pot. If the jam covers the spoon’s surface thickly and is not runny but thick jam that drops slowly (i.e. jam droplets join together as large droplets),the jam has set.
15. Soak jar lids in hot water (not on heat) for at least 5 minutes before use.
16. Pour hot jam into the hot jars to 0.5cm (1/4 inch) from the rim of each jar.
17. Using a non-metal utensil, remove any bubbles and add extra jam if required.
18. Wipe rims to remove any food residue.
19. Add warm lids and twist to secure.
20. Place sealed jars into a pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes to a full boil.
21. Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a wood or fabric surface. Do not adjust lids during this time.
22. The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating.
23. Store jars in a cool, dark and dry place for up to 12 months. Store Ball Mason jars without bands on the jars. Store Fowler’s Vacola jars without clips on the jars.
24. Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume refrigerated jam within several months.
    
Processing Time for CHRISTMAS JAM in a Boiling Water Bath
Jar Size
Altitude ≤ 6,000 feet
Altitude ≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 500ml (pints)
10 minutes
15 minutes
         

  

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