Every so often, I’ll pick up this book and thumb through the pages, reading titles. Then I put it back on the shelf and go bake some cookies. Or a cake. I started feeling a little guilty about neglecting it, so when I ended up with a gallon of frozen huckleberries, I decided to give jam making another go with the idea that I’d follow the recipe exactly. Even if it meant using the full amount of sugar called for and cooking the bejeezus out of the fruit.
It was very hard pouring cup after cup of sugar into those berries. I might have cried a bit.
The recipe calls for 3 3/4 cup sugar to 2 1/4 pounds of berries, with the juice of one lemon thrown in. Then you cook the berries until they’ve thickened up enough to hold their shape when placed on a frozen plate. This took me about 40 minutes. Then I spooned the hot jam into jars and let them cool. Because I don’t process my preserves, I usually keep one jar in the fridge and freeze the rest.
The finished jam set beautifully (hooray!). It is a deep, deep reddish purple, nearly black, and quite chunky. The jam is very sweet, but the natural tartness of the huckleberries still comes through.