Published at 23:00 on 11 August 2013
I tried making salal jam once before, and I remember none of the recipes made that much sense for me. Most were actually for jelly, not jam (which is a lot more work). I picked one and tried it, and found the results disappointing.
This time, I went back the the recipe I used before, and adjusted it a little bit. The result was much improved. Here’s what I came up with:
8 cups salal berries, unmashed1
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
Wash berries and remove foreign matter (fir needles, etc). Add 1/2 cup water and cook until soft (2-5 minutes). Run the softened berries through a Foley food mill.2 Add lemon juice to results, bring to boil, add sugar, stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until sugar dissolves, return to boil, remove from heat.
Apply the standard 10-minute processing in a boiling-water canner.
You might have noticed there is no pectin in the above recipe. Salal berries are naturally high in pectin. Commercial pectin is not needed.
1 Most jam recipes call for measuring raw mashed berries. Forget it; even fully ripe salal berries are too firm to mash raw. Moreover, I managed to pick most of mine without the stems; if most of yours have stems, you might want to increase the measure to compensate.
2 Or if you’re into upscale, electric appliances, I suppose a food processor could do this as well. Just be sure to use an attachment that runs the berries through a mesh of some sort as well as mashing them. You do want to get the skins and stray stems out.