Maine or bust!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pineapple Express!

I had all kinds of ambitious plans today. I was going to make strawberry muffins and rhubarb cake (so as to use up the bounty of fruit in my fridge before it went bad), but when I opened the fridge, I noticed that the plastic tub for the pineapple I had bought was leaking! GAH. Pineapple juice all over my nice clean fridge! Well, after cleaning that up, I realized that I'd have to do something with that pineapple right away, or say goodbye to it. So I poked around my cookbook collection (disappoint!) and fired up my trusty Google, and I found the answer - Pineapple jam!

It was such an awesome, delicious success that I'm not even waiting for the jars to cool before sharing it with you guys :) Recipe will be featured below. Start by prepping your fruit:

You can also use canned pineapple and juice for this recipe, but I prefer fresh.
One trick I've recently learned is to mix your pectin crystals with 1/4 cup of sugar and mix it in with your uncooked fruit before heating it up:

I'm going to have to get a bigger pot though, because the jam splatters something awful while at the "full rolling boil" stage.

And then process the way I would most fruit jams (hot water bath for 5-10 minutes).

Now, I'll confess that it was looking a little too chunky for my taste before I added the rest of the sugar (once it had boiled), so I put about half of it into my Ninja and blended it smooth, then added it back to the pot. Sue me, I like my jam to be spreadable :) There was a tiny bit left over after I filled the four half-pint jars, and I tasted a bit, and it is so sweet and intense, I am very happy with how it turned out! The recipe makes four half-pints as opposed to the five it said it would, but it's so delicious, I won't hold that against anyone :)

Pineapple Jam (makes 4 half-pints)

1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped finely
6 oz pineapple juice (I didn't have any, so I used water)
1 pkg light pectin crystals
3 cups sugar

Chop the pineapple and place in a large saucepan. Combine pectin crystals with 1/4 cup of the sugar and add to the fruit mixture. Add the pineapple juice (or water) to the saucepan and heat over high heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture has reached a full, rolling boil, gradually add the remaining sugar. Return to a full, rolling boil and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and continue stirring for 5 minutes (this prevents the fruit from floating in the jars). Ladle the jam into half-pint or pint jars with 1/4" head space. Place caps and rings on fingertip tight. Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes and let cool on counter. Once sealed, store in a cool, dry place. Refrigerate any jars that fail to seal.

Enjoy your bottled sunshine! :D

Four half-pints of pure sunshine!

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