Thursday, September 6, 2012

Autumn Olives of My Very Own

Again with the collecting things!

Back in June we had gone on a foraging walk one evening and were introduced to autumn olives.  Once I knew what to look for, I was finding them more and more, and just waiting for those little berries to ripen.  In general they should be ripe in October around here, but because of the previously mentioned wonky weather patterns, they are ready now.  The plant at the stables has been rather meager, so I thought I'd just head on over to where those other plants were at the site of our foraging walk.

They were plentiful and sweet and I was prepared!  I collected about 4 cups in a ziploc bag and headed off to my next errand of the day.  It took about an hour to get that many.  I didn't have any more time and I was, at that point, quite done with stripping berries off their branches.  By the time I got home this evening I was rather distressed to learn that I needed 8 cups to make a decent batch of jam.  So I improvised a bit.

The standard Certo recipe for sour cherries is 4 cups of fruit to 2 packages of pectin.  After I simmered the autumn olives in water and ran them through the food mill, I had just over 2 cups.  That'll do!  I mixed those 2 cups of puree with 3 slightly heaping cups of sugar and 1 package of the pectin.  This, following standard techniques, made 4 8-ounce jars of jam and a little bit for tasting.  It tastes really wonderful; tart and like cranberry with a little less bite.

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