As a student of nutrition science, I have mixed feelings about canning as a method of preservation. Loss of nutrient value due to high-heat processing is definitely one of my main concerns, but the inherent characteristics of many canning recipes- high salt or sugar contents, most notably- can be an even bigger turn off to someone looking to put up healthful foods. Nevertheless, I did can a small variety of jams this summer for spreading on toast and stirring into yogurt, and have every intention of again exploring the many flavor and texture possibilities of jam and whole-fruit preserves this year. After all, happiness is definitely a part of the human health equation; a life completely void of granulated sucrose would be, well, a little less sweet.
Last month I decided to try my hand at pineapple jam. In an attempt to mimic brand X’s pineapple Greek yogurt, I settled on this Ball Blue Book recipe and am glad I did. The little bits of lemon give the jam an extra layer of brightness that the pineapple alone could not achieve. Though I haven’t tried it, I think this jam would also make an excellent Polynesian-inspired glaze for chicken or fish.
Makes about 3 half-pints
- 1 quart finely chopped, cored, peeled pineapple (about 5 pounds)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
- 1 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to gelling point; as the mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims, adjust two-piece caps, and process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Recipe from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.