Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bachelor's Jam

Starting with Strawberries

I've been meaning to make Bachelor's Jam for a few years now. First there was the recipe in The River Cottage Preserves Handbook. Then an article in the New York Times T Magazine, followed by one on Serious Eats. Finally came this article, again in the New York Times, by Melissa Clark, with a mention of my canning habits. Despite the multiple reminders and the ease of the recipe, I somehow failed to make any. But this year, I've started and will update the progress here, as I add more fruit to the crock.

Highly recommended
From the New York Times T Magazine article: "In a large, nonporous, nonreactive crock or jar with a lid, layer chosen fruit with sugar and spirit. For each pound of fruit, add 1 cup fine white sugar. Add spirit to cover by an inch or so, beginning with 6 to 8 cups, and making certain all fruit is submerged with each successive layer. If necessary, you can weight the top layer with a plate. Do not stir as you build the layers. When mixture nears the top of the crock, cover securely and place in a cool, dark spot for six weeks minimum, and preferably several months. When ready to serve, stir together gently once." 

 I'm starting with strawberries as they do in the River Cottage Book recipe. Strawberries are very good right now and it is very possible that I may have over-purchased at the farmers market last weekend. I'm also using vodka simply because I had an unopened bottle and thought that it would be a change of pace from my usual canning choices of bourbon and rye. 

Oolong is the feline master of the photo-bomb.
Day one: I put one pound of strawberries. stems removed, but otherwise whole into my crock. I covered the berries with one half of a pound sugar and let them sit for two hours before adding four cups of vodka. I then covered the crock with the lid from a saucepan and put it aside to wait for the next addition.

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