After the disastrous attempt on the previous day, I told my parents, "I don't wanna see yamamomo any more. I'm making no more jam with them, at least this year. I mean it!" They grinned and said nothing, and I knew what that meant. There's one more yamamomo tree in dad's orchard where it's relatively flat ...
And I was right. On the next day, they came home late in the evening with another 5 to 6 kilograms of that anthocyanin-rich berries, and said, "Oh, it was just the perfect timing!" with big smile on their faces. Yeah, the berries are nice'n ripe. They look juicy. But what are you going to do with them? I'm not making jam any more!!!! Seeing the look on my face, mom rushed to the fridge to make some space in there and stored the berries neatly in it. Dad gave away about 1 kg of them to a relative. And they made puppy-eyes at me...
At 10:30 AM next morning, I found myself in front of a few big enamel pots, bunch of granulated sugar, a lemon and loads of that juicy berries. Mom was there to help.
First we made juice out of them, thinking that it would be a safe choice. Even if the juice wouldn't turn out great, it can be used for jelly or mousse. A few online recipes I found looked very similar; they said 1 kg yamamomo, granulated sugar (apx. 30 % of the weight of the berries) and a half lemon (sliced). All you need to do was to wash the berries, put all ingredients in a pot, add water just to cover them, cook for 5 minutes, cool and strain with a cloth. No-brainer. :)
The pink color of this cloth faded in a few days.
The juice was not anything great, IMHO, but not bad if properly thinned with cold water or soda water.
After lunch, mom and I started making jam. Yeah, jam. AGAIN. But by that time, my motivation was pretty high -- I wanted to improve and do a better job so that I can save my self-esteem.
And things went much better this time. Pitting was much easier with mom's help. We had fun checking each other's work to make sure no seed was left in the mash, and our fingertips were colored pink when we finished. This time I knew better about when to stop cooking. Of course no pectin was added. Actually, maybe because the berries were a different (bigger) variety, the jam started thickening much faster this time. :D
Look how much we made! But no problem. The jam turned out good enough to be given to friends and relatives, so we are going to give away the smaller jars. I made the labels myself, BTW.
See? The color of the second batch was just fine. (The real color was a little darker than this photo, but definitely not as dark as Worcestershire sauce.) I was worried about the texture because the mash wasn't strained through a strainer -- just processed in the blender like the last time. But it was no problem.
Here's a note for the future:
Yamamomo Jam Obachan's Version
2 kgs -- yamamomo
1070 g -- granulated sugar
5 to 6 drops -- juice of lemon from dad's orchard
* Dad's lemon was not as sour as store-bought ones.
So, thank goodness, my trauma was healed. And now I'm willing to make yamamomo jam in the future-- BUT NOT THIS YEAR! :O
Oh, and even the super-dark, ultra-viscous first batch is being consumed little by little. Just adding a little boiling water solved all the problem when it was used for these creations.
There's a good reason why I'm not showing inside of this cake, but you're not supposed to ask.
* I don't think fresh yamamomo can be shipped to other countries from Japan. It goes off so fast and so easily. In addition, often some tiny worms are hiding inside between the long... I don't know what they are called, sacs? fibers?... and the worms could multiply even under refrigeration.
But the fruit is said to be good for health, being rich in anthocyanin and flavonoid.