Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Homemade Jam

I love to make homemade jam for the holidays, and everyone enjoys receiving it. I did not make it last year and everyone was waiting for it! OOPS! If you have never made jam before, trust me it is not as complicated as it sounds, it is actually pretty easy to do but it is time consuming and can get expensive.

Here we go!

Step 1 – Get your supplies ready

Some things you need before you start:

  • Jars – I like to use pint jars and give everyone a variety of different flavors instead of large jars of just one flavor. Jars can be reused year after year.
  • Rings and seals - The rings can be reused each year, but you must purchase new seals every time.
  • Large pot – This will be used to boil the jars, rings and seals prior to filling the jars.
  • Pot holders – Don't want to get burnt!
  • Ladle –The smaller the better so you don't spill when filling the jars.
  • Tongs - You need ones that grip well so you can get the jars out of the boiling water.

Step 2 – Prepare your jars

Wash all jars, rings, and seals in hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly. Put everything in a large pot full of water and place on medium heat. Once the water begins to boil, turn the heat down but not off. You need to keep the supplies very hot for them to seal easily.

Step 3 – Choose and prepare your fruit

When making my jams, I use a combination of fresh and frozen fruit.

Fresh Fruit

When using fresh fruit, it is important to choose a mix of under ripe fruit (not green) as well as just ripe fruit. Peel any fruit that has a thick outer skin, such as apples or peaches. Remove any seeds or stems. Then cut the fruit into chunks and puree in a food processor or blender.

Frozen Fruit

I like to use frozen fruit because it allows for more variety in the off season, plus it is generally cheaper. ALDI has good mixed fruit and mixed berry varieties. Choose frozen fruit that does not have added sugar. Place fruit in a glass bowl to defrost. Once it is defrosted, place the fruit along with the juice in the food processor or blender and puree.

Step 4 – Choose your recipe

For each recipe you will need fruit pectin. This can usually be found in the store where the canning supplies are located.

Here are a few of our favorite jams:

Strawberry Nectarine Jam

3 cups prepared nectarines

1 ½ cups prepared strawberries

6 cups sugar

1 box fruit pectin

Strawberry Banana Jam

2 cups prepared bananas

2 ¾ cups prepared strawberries

6 ¾ cups sugar

1 box fruit pectin

Banana Bread Jam

3 cups prepared bananas

4 cups sugar

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 box fruit pectin

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp Fruit Fresh powder

1 ¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

Triple Berry Jam

6 cups prepared frozen mixed berries (Aldi)


2 cups prepared strawberries

2 cups prepared raspberries

2 cups prepared blueberries

4 ½ cups sugar

1 box of less or no sugar needed fruit pectin

Blueberry Jam

6 cups prepared blueberries

4 ½ cups sugar

1 box of less or no sugar needed fruit pectin

Pineapple Strawberry Jam

3 cups prepared strawberries

8 oz crushed pineapple in juice

5 ½ cups sugar

1 box fruit pectin

Peach Jam

4 ½ cups prepared peaches

3 cups sugar

1 box less or no sugar needed pectin

2 tbsp lemon juice

Carmel Apple Jam

6 cups prepared apples

2 cups sugar

2 cups brown sugar

1 box fruit pectin

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

Step 5 – Prepare your recipe

Use the following steps to make each recipe

  1. Place prepared fruit in large non stick pot
  2. Stir in pectin; any lemon juice or spices
  3. Add ½ tsp. butter to reduce foaming
  4. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (won't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with metal spoon.

Step 6 – Jar and seal your jam

  1. Remove a jar, a ring, and a seal from boiling water. Shake off excess water.
  2. Don't forget to use your potholder when holding the jars!
  3. Ladle hot mixture into hot jar leaving 1/8 in headspace.
  4. Wipe jar rims and threads with a paper towel soaked in hot water.
  5. Place seal on jar and tighten ring.
  6. Place jar UPSIDEDOWN on a cooling rack and leave inverted for 8 – 10 hours. During this process you may hear the lids "pop" when they seal.
  7. After allotted time turn jars over and check the seal. Press the middle of the lid; if it springs back the lid is not sealed. If it is not sealed place it in the fridge for several more hours. If this still doesn't work reheat the jam and the jar and try again using a new seal.


Mix only one batch of jam at a time.

Most recipes yield about 8 cups of jam.

Use Microsoft Word to make personal labels using address labels.

Make up baskets that contain a few jars of jam ,some crackers and fancy spreaders. Make great gifts.

Tell family and friends you would love to refill their jars next holiday season if they give them back when their jam is gone!

Don't forget to have fun!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me!


ELLIE said...

great instructions - I have saved this one - thanks for sharing it all!!

Tara @ Feels like home said...

I love making homemade jam, and I love the recipes you shared. I'm going to link to them during my Things to Write Home About post this Sunday. :)

Happy Campers said...

OK--you make it sound like something I can do...I'm adding this to my Favorites and will make the jams for Mother's Day gifts for our friends. Thank you for your article!!

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