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    How to Make Jam!

    Asked May 5, 2009, 08:06 PM 16 Answers
    Jams are easier to do than you may think. The very best fruit to use is wild. I use wild strawberry, blueberry and raspberry. You can actually use just about any fruit, and even peppers making like a hot chutney. The biggest trick of all is making sure all your tools are clean and sterilized. I use mason jars, that have 2 piece lids. You cannot use plastic jars.

    Taking the fresh fruit making sure they are clean, and often it is preferred not to wash small berries. If you know there is sand or anything else, I do rinse them in cold water. If your berries or fruit is not wild, do wash as it removes some pesticides.

    I use pectin in my jam, there are various kinds available. The pectin is what jels and helps to preserve. You can get regular crystals, less sugar, and liquid. Each kind has a ratio of fruit to sugar, and sometimes lemon juice if the fruit is too sweet.

    Begin to cook fruit on medium heat, with sugar, holding back 1 cup of sugar to add with your pectin. When the fruit mixture comes to a boil, add pectin sugar, and allow it to boil for 1 minute. Skim off the top to remove foam, or add a teaspoon of butter, that will defoam it.

    Pour carefully in jars, preferable small ones, and lid. Within a few hours you should hear them all pop, meaning they are sealed.
    Once you've had wild homemade berry jam, you'll never want another store bought.

    Last edited by Clough; May 6, 2009 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Improved the content of the post.
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    16 Answers
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 27,853, Reputation: 5893
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    #2

    May 5, 2009, 08:14 PM

    I am going to the store next week and buy some fruit. I'll give this a try. I've always wanted to make homemade jam but my mom died before she could teach me.

    If you all don't hear from me 2 weeks from now you know I did something wrong. :eek:
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    luciz's Avatar
    luciz Posts: 22, Reputation: 2
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    #3

    May 5, 2009, 08:27 PM

    Let me know what kind of pectin you buy and which fruit, and I'd be happy to help you along. It's so easy, you'll see. Just be very careful with the boiling fruit, sugar is hotter at boiling than water.
    Blessings
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    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,679, Reputation: 1648
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    #4

    May 6, 2009, 01:58 AM

    Hi, Luciz!

    I've edited some and moved your post about this out of Introductions to this forum topic area so that it will be more likely to receive the best responses to it.

    Introductions is where people post introductions for themselves only, and we try not to post questions or other pertinent information there.

    Thanks!
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    luciz's Avatar
    luciz Posts: 22, Reputation: 2
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    #5

    May 6, 2009, 07:18 AM

    Thank you Clough
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    Just Dahlia's Avatar
    Just Dahlia Posts: 2,155, Reputation: 445
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    #6

    May 6, 2009, 09:52 AM
    Did you forget a step?:confused:
    I always put the fruit filled jars in a boiling water bath for a certain amount of minutes, depending on the fruit. I hope I haven't been wasting my time as I've been making jam several times a year for years.:)
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    luciz's Avatar
    luciz Posts: 22, Reputation: 2
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    #7

    May 8, 2009, 04:28 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Dahlia View Post
    Did you forget a step?:confused:
    I always put the fruit filled jars in a boiling water bath for a certain amount of minutes, depending on the fruit. I hope I haven't been wasting my time as I've been making jam several times a year for years.:)
    No I do not. If you use pectin, sterilized jars, fill hot, and use a mason type lid that seals, you do not need to water bath. If I make just fruit jars, not jam, with a simple syrup, yes I water bath. If at any time you have doubt that the jar may not have sealed, you didn't hear that pop, then yes again, water bath. But if you water bath a jam, the sugar may get overcooked and you'll have sugar crystals.
    Blessings,
    Luciz
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    twinkiedooter's Avatar
    twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054
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    #8

    May 8, 2009, 07:06 PM

    I'll never forget back in the late 60's when I lived in NYC and took a road trip to Maine and picked my own blueberries. Came back to my apt in NYC and made blueberry jam and blueberry preserves. I made enough to use up 4 cases of little Mason jars. Gave them out as gifts at Xmas and found they were an instant hit with my friends. I've never tasted such scrumptious preserves since like the ones I made. And I used just about the same receipe you mentioned above.
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    luciz's Avatar
    luciz Posts: 22, Reputation: 2
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    #9

    May 8, 2009, 10:04 PM

    I'm a little bit spoiled, we have wild blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, elderberries, raisin, chokecherries or pin cherries, saskatoon berries, cranberries, highbush cranberries and juniper berries. Our northern forests may be cold, however they are blessed with nature. That being holding onto the tiny part that hasn't been colored in concrete.
    I also make jams for Yule, and have some favorites who year after year look my way for their coveted jam.
    Blessings
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    Pokerface5's Avatar
    Pokerface5 Posts: 85, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    May 8, 2009, 10:09 PM

    Peach Jam is REALLY good.

    You need 5 peaches
    WHite and Brown sugar
    Maple syrup
    Boiling hot water
    And cinimmon (optional)

    Cut peaches into tiny cubes and boil in HOT water for twenty to thiry minutes, or until soft.

    Put in bowl and smash until it looks like pulp.

    Mix sugars into a bowl and drain some of the hot water used to boil peaches into the sugar. Mix untl thick and creamy.

    Add cinimmon to smashed peaches and stir.

    Combine ingrediants and place in jar. Put in refrigerator for 2hrs.

    You will have smooth peach jam

    Add to toast with warm butter Hmmmhmmmhmmm :)
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    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,478, Reputation: 2990
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    #11

    May 8, 2009, 10:25 PM

    Hello:

    We were very poor when I was growing up. I always thought a jam sandwich is when you take two pieces of bread and jam them together.

    excon
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    lshadylady's Avatar
    lshadylady Posts: 73, Reputation: 6
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    #12

    Jul 4, 2009, 10:50 PM

    I have been experimenting with less sugar and using the less sugar type pectin. The flavor is even better with the less sugar you use. The problem is, the jam turns to syrup after about 2 months instead of thick jam. Any suggestions?
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    luciz's Avatar
    luciz Posts: 22, Reputation: 2
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    #13

    Jul 5, 2009, 07:52 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Dahlia View Post
    Did you forget a step?:confused:
    I always put the fruit filled jars in a boiling water bath for a certain amount of minutes, depending on the fruit. I hope I haven't been wasting my time as I've been making jam several times a year for years.:)

    Most jams don't need a water bath, as the pectin is what jells it, and preserves it. Water bath is more so used in preserving. I do not water bath my jams.
    Blessings
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    luciz's Avatar
    luciz Posts: 22, Reputation: 2
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    #14

    Jul 5, 2009, 08:42 AM
    [QUOTE=lshadylady;1836213]I have been experimenting with less sugar and using the less sugar type pectin. The flavor is even better with the less sugar you use. The problem is, the jam turns to syrup after about 2 months instead of thick jam. Any suggestions?[/QUOTE

    There are a few things you can do. There is low sugar pectin that you can use half the sugar, and I agree, I use the low sugar and it does taste much better. The length the jam will keep is 4-6 weeks as the sugar with the pectin is what preserves.Once the jam is opened it does have an expiration. Not opened, and kept in a dark place it will keep for up to a year. You can " Can" your fruit rather can jam it, and you can do this sugar free if you wish. I have made no sugar jam with the low pectin type with great results, however, I did water bath it, and it does expire quickly after opening, so I did it in the smallest jar available.

    Firstly, low or no sugar jam recipe that can be refrigerated for 4-6 weeks

    No sugar peach jam with pectin
    4 cups peeled sliced firm ripe peaches, about 3 large
    1 package powdered fruit pectin
    1 tbsp bottled lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon liquid calorie free sweetener, you can use more or Less.
    1/2 tsp ascorbic acid, or a Vitamin C tablet, crushed

    Crush peaches and remove juice (save juice) om a saucepan, stir fruit pectin, lemon juice, and ascorbic acid into ground peaches. Bring to a oil and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. " This is a rolling boil" Remove from heat, add calorie free sweeteneer, and stir thoroughly. If you want to freeze the jam so it will last longer, cook it for an additional 2 minutes. Pour into clean hot freezer jars leaving 1/2 " headspace. Seal and chill, then freeze. Thaw before serving and refrigerate after opening.
    If you don't want to freeze, you can water bath this recipe, for 15 min, but keep in a dark cool place, and refrigerate after opening, and it will only keep a few weeks after opening.

    There also is an alternative, you can "can" your fruit, this is for berries except strawberries, as the result from canning strawberries is undesirable and not recommended.
    prepare your jars, via sterilization
    Prepare your juice, 1/2 cup of sugar per quart of fruit.
    Fill your jars with clean fruit, the better condition the fruit, the better product you will have.
    make syrup with water, 1/2 to 4 cups of sugar per quart, honey, or apple juice, heat to boiling, and cover fruit, use a spatula to take out any air bubbles in jar, and add more syrup if needed. cover and seal right away. Water bath at least 15 minutes, adding 2 minutes for elevations more than 1000 feet above sea level.
    Store in dark cool area. If you open jar, and you have any doubt that it may have spoiled, which can happen for a multiple of reasons including discard. If you use cleaned sterilized tools and jars, this minimizes this.

    Hope this helps, and my earlier post, I don't regularly water bath my jams if I follow the recipe on the package of pectin. Some call for water bath, but I have not if I use at least 4 cups of sugar per 5-7 cups of fruit, and have had great success in doing so. It's when we alter the recipe, water bathing ensures the success, as it preserves like "canning" rather than jamming.
    Blessings,
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    lshadylady's Avatar
    lshadylady Posts: 73, Reputation: 6
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    #15

    Jul 5, 2009, 09:27 AM

    Thanks, I'll use your suggestions that's for sure. The freezer jam should work perfectly. We have lots of wild berries if we get them before them before the bears do!
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    dawgsnkats's Avatar
    dawgsnkats Posts: 130, Reputation: 7
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    #16

    Jul 11, 2009, 05:29 AM

    Pokerface, I CONCUR WITH THE PEACH YUMMINESS!

    For all that like egg rolls, try some pepper jelly as a garnish instead of duck sauce. YUMMY.COM I SWEAR!
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    lshadylady's Avatar
    lshadylady Posts: 73, Reputation: 6
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    #17

    Aug 25, 2009, 02:13 AM

    I made that jelly and this year I left some those seeds that make it really hot hot. I made more than one batch too. I like to use the red hot chili's.
    I went shopping and found a new candybar!It's a Lindt Creation 70%Cherry & Chili, 70% Cacao Dark chocolate with dark chocolate mousse and cherry & chili fillings. It's got hot pepperjam in it. It is so delicious I only dare eat one square a day. It's in WalMart in the candy isle. SS
    PS It is almost a good as the pepperjam.
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