For our wedding favours, we want to thank our guests with homemade jams. I think it’s a thoughtful gift that people will actually use. Therefore, this summer, I’ll be making 60 jars of various types of preserves, starting with jams.
To decide what type of jams to do first, I checked what was on sale at the grocery store and looked around my local farmer’s market to see what was in season. What I could see was a great deal on pineapples and mangoes at the store. At the market, rhubarb was everywhere.
Mango Pineapple Jam with Rum
For my first batch of preserves, I found a great recipe for a tropical jam from a blog called Coconut & Lime. You can find the recipe here.
The recipe provides a link to a preserving guide. However, it’ll link you to an Amazon page to buy a book. There are plenty of free preserving guides on the web. For great dependable sources, I suggest you turn to the companies that make the jars and pectin you use to make the preserves. Personally, I use the Bernardin website quite a lot for recipes. More than just recipes, on these websites, you’ll find very complete beginner’s guides, tips, and problem solver resources. These companies have great incentives to make you great at making preserves and to make to process as smooth as possible for you.
The recipe for the mango and pineapple jam was straightforward and easy to follow. My mangoes weren’t as riped as I would have liked, but it didn’t affect the end product. There was enough sugar in the jam to balance that extra acidity.
I still made a mess though. It’s not my fault if fresh pineapples are so slippery! #Imavictim
Despite the mess, the result tasted summery and delicious. I thought you couldn’t taste the rum much but that’s okay.
Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam
Rhubarb has a place of honor in farmer’s market at the moment. It’s in almost every stall. I wanted to use it for my second batch of jams and thought: what better to balance the sourness of rhubarb than strawberries? It’s a classic duo for a reason.
For this jam, I used the recipe for strawberry and rhubarb jam that was in my pack of fruit pectin. I used two cups of crushed strawberries and an equal quantity of finely chopped rhubarb. If you use Bernardin fruit pectin, it’s the recipe in the baked jams section.
Recipes for strawberry rhubarb jam vary a lot regarding the proportion of these two fruits. You can choose the recipe you want depending on which fruit you want to make the star of your jam. For my part, I decide to treat them as equals. For a recipe extremely similar to the one I’ve made, click here. The only differences I can see is this recipe doubles the quantities and uses a bit more butter.
Once again, it made a bit of a sticky mess.
But the result was great. I think this classic flavor will be a real crowd-pleaser.
Since these jams are now done, I’m only some decorating away from being able to give them to my guests. I was thinking of using personalized stickers and a bit of fabric to make them beautiful and special. I’ve also bought a couple of ribbons and will be trying out a few looks.
To give you an idea of the result, here’s what I had done last Christmas to decorate my jars of jams and jellies.
I used a template from Avery to make the personalized stickers (it was very easy to use and super printer friendly).
For the 36 remaining preserves, I was thinking of doing something with raspberries, maybe a salty option with whiskey. I’m still brainstorming.
If you need more ideas for cool preserving projects, you can go see what I’ve pinned to my canning board:
Have a great day 🙂