Our absolutely favorite thing this year is Zucchini Jam. If anyone has ever gifted you with Christmas Jam or Strawberry Surprise Jam you might have already tried it and not even known.
See, it's made with zucchini and crushed pineapple. Then you add whatever flavor of Jello you like to stand in for the fruit. It's spectacular and such a chameleon. It tastes like the real thing... or better!
Here's how I make it. Most recipes I see on line use a ton more sugar (at least six cups) and much less lemon juice (as little as 2TBL) so I think the sweetness and tartness is a matter of taste. This jam is plenty sweet enough, IMHO. Also I've seen cook times vary all the way from three hours to ten minutes. This set of times has worked great for us. Please bear in mind that we live at 6050ft above sea level and I have no idea how that effects jam. I just know that this works. Awesomely!
Pick Your Flavor Zucchini JamIngredients:
6 cups of grated Zucchini/Courgette (peel it if you don't like the skin to show. I love the skin bits, so pretty)
1/2 cup water
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice
1 (6 ounce) box raspberry Jell-O (you can use any flavor, strawberry is AMAZING!)
1 (2 ounce) box surejell fruit pectin or equivalent - I currently use 6 TBL of a powdered pectin.
1. Place nine clean glass half-pint jars ( or 5 pint jars... or whatever you have on hand) with hot/boiling water in them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees. Put the matching lids and rings in a pan with hot water on the stove at a simmer. Do this first as the cooking times really fly by and you want them to get good and hot!
(I usually put a dishtowel under the jars so they don't slide around. Forgot this time and it was tricky to get them in and out of the oven)
2. Bring 1/2 cup water and 6 cups of zucchini to a boil thel let simmer for 6 minutes.
4. Mix in the Jello and boil 2 minutes.
5. Add Surejell and boil for 1 minute.
Bonus Step: I don't like texture at all. *shudder* So I use my immersion blender at this point to mulch up all the pineapple and zucchini bits. If you like 'fruit pieces' in your jam then it's great as is. I could never handle that so I blend it. The zucchini skin gives the impression of seeds, and is very pretty, but doesn't have any discernible presence in your mouth. Be sure to take appropriate safety measures when blending molten jam. Burns hurt.
Note: I added the jello and Sure-Jell, blended it and then boiled it. Sort of out of order but it seemed fine. Also I got some foam... this has never happened before so I skimmed it off.
6. Turn off heat and move pot to the counter where you'll be filling the jars (easier to clean than the stove). Take the jars out of the oven and carefully pour out the water. Ladle jam into the hot jars. I leave some headroom - not sure the proper amount but I live 1/2 - 3/4 inch.
7. Wipe rims with a damp cloth, put lids and rings on to finger tight and then turn jars upside down for 5 minutes.
NOTE: this jam looks very runny, but after cools it sets up quite firm. I know how solid your jam is can be regional thing and/or a matter of personal preference. If you want it runnier I'd skip the Sure jell.
My dog loses his mind for a taste of jam and homemade bread.
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