Les Petits Chefs make Amy Bronee’s triple berry jam

The Canning Kitchen book coverWe only had a small crew of Petits Chefs this week as the term starts to wind down and more events are taking place after school but I didn’t want to cancel just because we had less boys. I find the more things get “abnormal” in terms of the schedule, the better it is to stick with routine (for me and the boys!) as much as possible.

What better recipe choice for a small group of boys, then than a small batch of jam? And what better book to find a recipe for this than Amy Bronee’s The Canning Kitchen? I reviewed this in 2015 when it came out and have been a big fan of it since, because it takes the intimidation factor out of canning, precisely because all the recipes are small batch. As I said back then:

Yeah, the “tiny batches”. Another thing that makes Amy’s book approachable. None of the recipes makes a whole lot of product.  I don’t know about you but so many canning recipes I read make much larger quantities than a 2-person household can consume (even with eager neighbours willing to taste test!) so Amy’s approach – making small batches – is very appealing. Of course, being the queen of minifying, I halved the recipes I made again but because her quantities list weight for the fruit, it’s easy to do.

This week, I chose triple berry jam for the boys to make, though curiously strawberries were sold out when I went to pick them up late on a Sunday evening. So, blackberries it was!

We started out sterilising our jars and lids in boiling water…

Kids sterilising jam jars on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe “slightly crushed” our berries…

Kids crushing raspberries and blackberries on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids crushing blueberries on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd got them in the pot with the pectin…

Crushed berries for jam on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhile we brought these to the boil, we measured the sugar. The boys were super excited for this ingredient!

Kids measuring sugar on eatlivetravelwrite.com(I’m actually wondering if this recipe could use a little less sugar – it’s equal quantities sugar and fruit – but because as the boys reminded me, making jam is a ratio, we didn’t want to mess with it on our first go)

In it goes:

Kids pouring sugar into berries for jam on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe followed the recipe to a “T”, bringing it to a boil and boiling it hard and fast for a full minute (timed to perfection, of course, by the boys!).

Kids stirring sugar into berries for jam on eatlivetravelwrite.com(stirring all the while…)

We tried really hard to remove all the frothy scum…

Scum on top of jam on eatlivetravelwrite.com Skimming the scum off jam on eatlivetravelwrite.comThen we carefully ladled the jam into the jars using a funnel…

Ladeling jam into jars on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe boys did a great job!

Ok, then, here are supposed to be photos of us carefully placing the jars in the boiling water then topping it up with more boiling water to process the jars as per Amy’s wonderful instructions. But here’s the thing: We don’t own any canning equipment at school so we had to Macgyver a few things. We made wads of paper towel for the tiny jars to sit on in the water so the glass was not directly in contact with the bottom of the pan (and the ridiculously hot hotplates). This was all well and good until we added the jars when the boys reminded me about “displacement theory”. So yeah, we had water all over the countertops, and floor (and yes, on the hotplates). Nothing like a little bit of danger to brighten up a Monday afternoon! Also: no photos 😉


Our jars processed, some of them even “pinged” letting us know they were sealed and I think all of them sealed in the end (ping or not). Some good learning moments for sure (mostly that none of our pots are actually really big enough to can in!) and hey, some delicious jam!

Amy Bronee triple berry jam on eatlivetravelwrite.comI know that when I enjoy my jar of this, I’ll think back fondly on this session because it had a little bit of everything I love about teaching kids to cook: figuring stuff out as you go, being flexible, teaching them why we do things a certain way, working with what we have and mostly, lots of laughs and smiles.

And hey, if you’re looking to maybe start canning with your kids? Amy’s book is a wonderful introduction to small batch jams and preserves. Much more do-able for kids and novice preservers!

Disclosure: Penguin Canada provided me with a copy of The Canning Kitchen for review purposes. I was not required to post about the book and I have not received further compensation for doing so. FULL disclosure: Amy is a friend but I don’t post about cookbooks I don’t love 🙂

The Canning Kitchen book cover


Purchase The Canning Kitchen for yourselves on Amazon. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.

Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you) which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!



, , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make Amy Bronee’s triple berry jam

  1. Geoff May 31, 2017 at 19:11 #

    Actually, I like blackberries better… and the final result looked very good.
    And, by the way, the sugar in jam is generally not there ONLY for taste but also as an anti-oxidant and preservative. Without the sugar, shelf life is drastically shortened.
    Lovely jam LPCs…

    • Mardi Michels June 3, 2017 at 18:28 #

      Yes I know it’s a ratio etc… and it serves a purpose but it also depends on how sweet your fruit is, right? In any case, this is GOOD!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.