As a wedding gift a friend of mine asked for money. Only giving money seemed a bit too boring to me, so I decided to make a personalized gift as well.
He and his wife have a logo featuring a synonym of their last name "Stachelblume". It means "thorn flower" in English. So I decided to make jam that has to do with their name and features the logo on the jar.
Gooseberries in German are called "Stachelbeeren" meaning "thorn berries". They have a tart taste that goes really well with the taste of raspberries. So ended up mixing those two to make jam.
You can of course fill your custom jars with whatever jam you like or even buy it in a store and only engrave the glass.
Step 1: Collect the Berries
Start by collecting the berries. The amount you need depends on how much jam you would like to cook. I collected 500 g of gooseberries and 500 g of raspberries and was able to fill four 314 ml jars. Make sure to wash the berries, before proceeding.
You can also use frozen berries. In fact I froze the berries I collected, because I didn't have the time to cook the jam at that time.
Step 2: Alignment
As you can see I used square glass jars (e.g. from here). If you have an adapter to engrave round object, you can of course use it, but using square glasses is a lot easier. Hexagon glass jars will work as well.
Aligning the laser is done by using some masking tape. Simply draw a cross where the laser has to focus. The masking tape is needed, because otherwise it is hard to see the red dot.
Once you have aligned the laser, simply remove the masking tape.
Step 3: Laser Time
Laser engraving the image or text you chose is quite easy, you won't need to add anything to the glass.
As settings I used a speed of 200 mm/s and the laser intensity was set to 15 % on my Chinese 60 W CO2 laser.
Once you are done with the engraving, use a towel to remove the small glass shards that might be on the surface.
You can also fill up the glasses with jam first and engrave them afterwards.
Step 4: Ingredients
In Germany we have something called "Gelierzucker" (gelling sugar), which is used to make jam. It can be bought in different ratios. The most common ones are 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1 fruit to sugar. What type of sugar you use determines how sweet your jam is going to be and how long it can be stored before consuming. I used sugar with a ratio of 2:1, which I couldn't find on amazon.com. They are selling it here in a ration of 3:1 though. So if you are interested in a very fruity, less sweet jam, give it a try.
If you can't get your hands on "Gelierzucker", you can also use pectin. Simply follow the instructions on the package.
- 500 g of 2:1 gelling sugar (2 ½ cups)
- 1 kg of berries (I used 500 g each; that's about 4 cups of gooseberries and 5 cups of raspberries)
- optional: I added a shot glass of elder syrup
Step 5: Preparation
Put your berries in a pot and add the sugar. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes. Make sure your jars are clean and place them on a wet towel.
Step 6: Cook the Mixture
Cook the mixture until it is bubbling. You might have to mash the berries.
Once it is bubbling, cook everything for about five more minutes and add the syrup. You can test the consistency of your jam by placing a drop on a plate, it is done, if it doesn't run down.
I decided to leave the seeds in the jam, but you can of course strain the mixture.
Step 7: Filling the Jars
Fill the jars to the brim and screw them shut. Afterwards turn them around and let them sit this way for around 10 minutes. Turn them around again and let them cool off.
Congratulations, you are done.
Runner Up in the
Canning and Pickling Challenge 2017