Lemon squash jam

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I have a confession to make. Even tho i grow a lotta cucurbits, i don’t grow these.

I used to grow them. but to be perfectly frank, they stress me out. I don’t love them to begin with. but enough is enough when each & every day i finely comb through all the big green leaves and bright yellow-orange flowers in the garden – usually only one or two plants mind you – and lug the 5 dailies back in to my kitchen wondering where in my fridge they’ll fit. considering, of course, that there are ten already snuggled up in there claiming valuable real estate. only to come back out to the garden the next morning to trip head first over a fruit the size of my leg that i missed, apparently.

so this year, i stopped the madness: no more zucchini! Why then, am i coming to you with this recipe? well for one, my cukes and melons are not quite here yet and i will be dealing with a lot of those when the time is right. since i had to head down to one of my favorite farmer‘s stand at my local farmer’s market i figured i could safely buy a few of them to put to jar. (secretly hoping of course that they wouldn’t multiply in my fridge).

they don’t, do they? Secondly, i thought if i can come up with a really great canned goodie that deliciously utilizes these babies, i may actually be doing a PSP (public service post ) for those of you still brave enough to grow them. i mean… i like zucchini bread as well as the next gardener.

But, there’s gotta be a better way! Lemon squash jamadapted from gourmet preserves by madelaine bullwinkel

1 pound green zucchini – they shouldn’t be more than 6 or 7 inches in length
3 lemons – approximately 3/4 pound (organic if you can)
6 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon basil (or lemon verbena or lemon balm)
pint or smaller mason jarsyield – approximately 4 pints

Day 1

1. trim ends from zucchini & grate coarsely. quarter the lemons, remove the pits & slice as thin as you can. measure this – it will be approximately 1 & 1/2 quarts, place in a non-reactive pot (stainless steel or enameled iron only). add an equal amount of water. bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

2. let cool. cover & let sit over night at room temperature.

Day 2

1. place 2 or 3 small plates in the freezer for testing the set

2. bring the squash/lemon mixture to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.

3. as the mixture is boiling, fill your canner with water & clean jars and turn the heat on medium low. you will not need to sterilize the jars as this jam is hot water bath processed for 10 minutes.

4. after 5 minutes of boiling begin to add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time. letting the mixture come back to the boil each time before adding the next 1/2 cup.

5. once all the sugar is in the pot boil until sufficiently set. this took approximately 10 minutes for me.

6. while the jam is boiling, chiffonade the lemon basil.(i would explain it, but you might as well just go here)

7. when you think it is set (or around 10 minutes) take the pot off the heat, place a spoonful on a frozen plate and put back in freezer for about 30 seconds. run your finger through, if it wrinkles under your finger then it has reached the jelling point. if it doesn’t, put the pot back on and try again in another minute, and so on.

8. once it has reached the jell point, boil for 1 full minute.

9. take off heat, add the lemon basil and stir. let stand for 5 minutes. stir gently a couple of times during this 5 minutes.

10. fill hot jars and hot water bath process for 10 minutes.

tigress’ can jam july: cucurbits: omg i love this jam! you know, i definitely had my doubts. while i was making it i thought, this is another one of those hide the zucchini recipes, i know the deal… but it’s crazy! it’s actually quite a lovely color, golden with deep green flecks of zucchini throughout. the flavor has that bittersweetness that i love in a good marmalade, but it’s brighter somehow. the lemon basil adds a deeper layer that – get this – was enough to make M exclaim that it was my best jam yet! (i know). here’s what i really love about it: the texture. because it’s marmalade-esque, but the squash adds a fruit-like fiber that makes it a true jam.

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