Making jams and preserves at home isn’t something that most of us do on a regular basis, but when you already love to cook, it is a skill that you just might want to add to your repertoire. Homemade jams are a great way to utilize fresh, in-season fruits and berries and turning them into something that is just as amazing as baking those berries into a batch of moist, tender muffins for breakfast. In The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, author Rachel Saunders introduces jam making to a whole generation of people who, unlike their grandmothers, probably never tried making their own preserves.
The book is a fantastic introduction to this subject, with clear explanations of every step you’ll need to take during the jam making process and dozens of recipes to try. That said, the recipes will easily stand on their own for experienced jam makers looking for new flavor ideas, and is not simply aimed at cooks with minimal experience with preserves. You’ll find recipes for everything from a Classic English Marmalade to Vanilla-Laced White Cherry Jam and even a Strawberry-Rose Geranium Jam. The recipes are divided up first by season, then by month and finally by fruit. This division makes it very easy to work with, as it will be easy to identify what fruits are at their peak and what you should look for when shopping for fruit at your local market. You can be a little more flexible on the condition of the fruits when buying them for jam-making, as a bruise here or there won’t impact the finished product, but for the best results you should still seek out top notch fruit.
The book is overflowing with fantastic photos that will inspire you to start making your own jams – and inspire you to come up with new baking ideas where you can put that jam to good use once it is made. Many of the recipes in the book can be made in large or scaled down into small batches, which is nice because it means that you won’t have to tackle a huge batch of jam just to give a new recipe a try.