Happy Friday! It’s oppressively humid today here in Iowa, but it’s also a beautiful day to share my latest recipe with you all!
About five years ago (can it really be that long?!), I made jam for the first time. My mom has a pretty good-sized raspberry patch and it produces faster than the berries can be eaten. I remember being amazed at the simplicity of the process of making jam! It may seem like a daunting task, but I promise you, it’s really not that difficult.
With that in mind, I made triple berry jam and will walk you through the basic process of making and canning jam. So, put on your apron and join me! No, seriously, it gets messy….
Also, disclaimer: My photography leaves A LOT to be desired for this particular post, so bare with me. Hopefully, my eloquent writing will guide you instead. 🙂
Begin by washing the jars and rings. Not the seals. Seals can only be used once, so if you’ve already used the jars, be sure to throw away the seals. You can buy seals separately for fairly cheap.
This recipe is supposed to make eight 8-oz jars. Knowing how things usually go for me though, I prepared 9 jars.
Rinse them off thoroughly, and keep them in a warm water bath as you prepare your jam. At this point, put a spoon in the fridge to use later. (Trust me, it’s necessary.)
Throw the seals in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil on the stove. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let the seals sit in the water until you’re ready for them.
Now comes the fun part: washing and crushing the berries. You’re going to need a total of 5 cups of crushed berries. I started with raspberries. I probably started with about 2 1/2 cups of fresh berries, and ended up with a cup and half of crushed raspberries.
Next, I washed up about a cup of fresh blueberries. This made a half-cup crushed blueberries. (Side note: I never realized that blueberries can look so unappetizing.)
So, if you’re keeping track with me, I have 2 cups crushed berries at this point. I washed and cut up a pound and a half of strawberries to get me up to the 5 cup mark. You don’t necessarily have to follow my rations; just use what you have! You can always use different kind of berries, too! (i.e., blackberries, black raspberries, etc.)
Mix up all these berries in a large pot and set aside. Next, measure out 7 cups of sugar into a large bowl. Yes, I said seven. And, yes, there is more sugar than berries in the jam – why do you ask?
Get out one box of pectin. You can usually find this by the canning jars in the kitchen department at most stores.
Get rid of the directions that come with it – you don’t need them; you have me! (Just kidding, you might actually need those).
Scoop out 1/4 cup sugar from the sugar you already have measured, and mix that with the pectin. This helps to prevent the pectin from clumping up as you make your jam.
Mix in the pectin/sugar mixture with the berries and place the pot on the stove. Turn the heat onto medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the berries have come to a rolling boil (boil that doesn’t stop as you stir), set the timer for 5 minutes and stir frequently to prevent burning.I also add in about 1/2 tablespoon of butter at this point to help reduce foaming.
Once the time is up, sloooowwlllllllyyy add the sugar, stirring constantly. Once all the sugar is mixed in, bring the mixture to a boil for an additional minute.
Remove from heat,and let sit as you dry off the jars, rings, and seals.
Prepare your canning pot as well, by taking the canning rack out, and filling the pot with water (about 1/3 full). Place the pot on the stove and crank the heat up to high to bring the water to a boil.
Using a soup ladle and a funnel, fill the jars until the jam is about a quarter inch shy of the rim. Also, this is a good time to get the spoon out of the fridge, and scoop out a little jam. Let the spoon with the hot jam sit for about 30 seconds, and then you’ll be able to see if your jam has the right consistency. Go ahead and taste it as well. 🙂
Cover the jars with the seals and rings, making sure to get the rings on tight. I hold on to the jar with a towel, because otherwise it gets pretty hot. Place the jars evenly in the canning rack, and lower into the boiling water. (Wow, that just sounded like something straight out of a story with wicked witches).
Place the lid on the canning pot and process for 10 minutes. Now, here is where you need those handy-dandy instructions from the pectin box. If you’re at an elevation above 1,000 ft. (which I am), you need to add 5 minutes to that 10 minutes. So, I boiled my jars for 15 minutes before removing them. If you’re under 1,000 ft., you should be fine at 10 minutes, but if you’re above 3,000 ft., check with the packet.
Okay, use the canning tongs to remove the jars from the water, and gently set them on a towel to dry and finishing sealing. When you hear the “pop!”, you know your jars have sealed.
Congratulations – you’ve just learned how to make and can jam! I ended up with 9 jars out of this batch, and I have been enjoying it ever since. This marks the first time I’ve made jam with three different kinds of berries, and you can bet I will be doing it again! It’s oh, so good.
Do you have any questions about the jam-making process? Ask me below, and I’d be happy to help you out!
Have a great weekend!