The last two nights, I have taught jam making classes for Scott Community College.
And ........ OMG!!!!! What fun!!
I really have a ball! Honey is my assistant and he spends most of his time, washing dishes and laughing at the comments from the students. And trying to keep me sane! (yea .... that's a full time job!)
My goal in jam class is to teach some really basics about making jam and canning. And every year, I search out recipes that can easily be made with current grocery store selections.
Now -- I will admit -- I like finding some unusual recipes. Everyone can find a strawberry recipe. But Strawberry Margarita is a lot of fun and the tequila brightens the taste of those store-bought, shipped-in, picked-when-green strawberries!
We made one of my favorite jams last night .......... cantaloupe vanilla.
It is awesome in August when we, on the east coast of Iowa, have incredible Muscatine melons on every corner fruit stand. But even with so-so cantaloupes, it is like eating candy!
And on goat cheese ............. Stand back, sista!!!!! It is delish!
So I will share the recipe. It does make a very small batch but it can easily be doubled.
Cantaloupe Vanilla Jam
2 pounds peeled and seeded cantaloupe, cut into ½” cubes
3 ½ cups sugar
1 TBSP lemon juice
½ to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine cantaloupe, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add 3-4 teaspoons of Fruit Fresh to keep the color bright. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium high and boil jam, stirring frequently until a drop of it mounds slightly on a chilled plate. For a smoother jam, use an immersion blender to puree'.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla … ladle the jam into jars and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.
This recipe makes 3-4 8 oz jars of jam.