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Basic Berry Jam

4 qt Berries

Use only freshly-picked berries and include a good percentage of under-ripe berries. Pick over carefully and wash, removing stems, hulls, and debris. Place in enameled or stainless steel pot, mash well, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Cook just until berries soften.

Put through food mill. If desired, this pulp may be strained through a finer sieve. Measure pulp into an enameled or stainless steel pot that is at least four times taller than level of pulp. For every cup of pulp, add 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat and continue to boil until the temperature of the jam reaches 221 degrees F on a candy thermometer. (The stage at which the mixture will form a jelly of the desired consistency if a spoonful on a small dish is placed in the freezer for one minute. ) Keep an eye on the boiling jam and stir frequently!

When jam is ready, ladle into sterilized jars, seal, and process according to jar manufacturer's instructions.

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