I recently bought the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook and the River Cottage Preserves book. I was taken in by the luscious photography and the unusual flavor combinations.
However, upon getting them home and reading more closely, the methods that the books use to preserve the jams are entirely unsafe! The River Cottage book uses the open kettle canning method and no after-processing. I know tons of grannies may swear by this method, but I'm not taking the chance.
The Blue Chair book is slightly better, though the author says she processes her jars in the oven. It sounded like a brilliant idea to me, but now that I've researched it, I see it isn't safe either. The other option in the Blue Chair book is to "process according to manufacturer's directions". Say what? I assume she means the directions given by the jar maker (Ball or Mason or whomever.) So, does this mean I can put her jams in half-pint jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes and they'll be safe?
Can I make any of these jams as freezer jams? Should I just take both books back to the store and ask for a refund? I'm very annoyed and don't really want to get into the debate of whether open kettle canning is safe. I don't think it's safe, so that's not an option for me.
Thanks in advance!