The Best Way to Make Jam in 15 Steps

Homemade jam taste fresher than those that are sold in stores. Jam is not just left for experts to make. You need no fancy equipment to make jam. Homemade jam is delicious and very easy to make. It is a simple pleasure that makes the most of seasonal fruit so that it can be enjoyed for a month or more. Follow the few steps below if you want to learn how to make your own jam at home.

Ingredients for Jam

  • 8 cups of sweet fresh fruit(like strawberries, apricots or blueberries)
  • One packet of pectin powder
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of lemon
  • ½ teaspoon of margarine

Methods for Jam Preparation

1.Decide to use pectin or not:

it’s optional to use pectin in making jam, but it helps with a jelly like consistency and to keep it from runny. It is in liquid and powder form. However, if you want to use pectin, you should read the instructions for the exact sugar to fruit ratio of ingredient you want to use. This will make the recipe to slightly vary.

2. Sterilize canning jars

You cannot use an old jar; you’ve to get jars that specially meant for canning. Boil the jars in hot water for about 10 minutes, place them upside down on a clean towel and drape another clean towel over them till they are ready to be use. It’s crucial to sterilize the jars correctly because the principle of canning is killing of the microorganisms that spoil food then seal the jar tightly to keep them out.

3. Fruit Preparation

Firstly, you wash the fruit in clean water. Peal it, remove the pits, the stems, and whatever you need to remove. Cut it into smaller parts. If you’re using strawberry or blueberry you don’t have to cut unlike apricots or other fruits lager than berries.

4. Crush the fruit

Once you are done washing and preparing the fruit give it some time to dry, you should crush it with a wooden spoon or potato masher. The fruit is naturally soft, so you don’t have to go crazy doing this. The longer you take crushing the fruit depends on the kind of jam you like to make. You like thicker jam crush the fruit for about 1-2 minutes, but for smoother jam make it for 3 minutes.

5. Prepare the Fruit in a Large Saucepan

Put the 8 cups of fruit in the pan; add ¼ cup of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of margarine to the mixture. Gently stir the ingredients. You can also warm the butter to make it easier to stir in. The lemon juicy will cut some of the sweetness of the jam.

Jam Making

6. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.

A full rolling boil is when the bubbles do not stop on less you stir. Continuously, stir the mixture all the way down to the bottom to avoid burning the fruit. Boiling the fruit will make the juice come out of the fruit and to prevent it from burning.

7. Add Sugar

Pour in the sugar while the mixture is still hot and stir it until it is completely dissolves. You may think that by skimping out on the sugar will make the jam healthier but it actually ruin the consistency of the jam.

8. Heat the mixture

Allow the fruit mixture to simmer 10-15 minutes until it get thinker, the time it takes to reach the right consistency varies by the type of fruit you are using, since some fruit take longer time to soften. If you are using pectin, check the time required for boiling. Continue to stir.

9. Remove from heat

When the mixture is ready, remove the pan from the burner.

10. Use spoon to skim any form on the top surface

It will be whitish and some will have more than others. You need not to get every speck but leaving them in the jam will change the consistency and will not taste good.

Storing the Jam

11. Put the jam in the prepared jars

Using a canning funnel to guide the jam inside the jar. Be sure to leave the head space at the top of every jar. Wipe the threads and rims of the jars with clean towel to remove drips. Make sure ro clean the top surface where the seal will go in.

12.Seals the jars

Boil little water in a medium saucepan and remove from heat, place the seal in the water, push them down and make sure the sink, try not stack them on each other do that they heat evenly. Allow it to soften for a minute and place it on each jar. To release the seal, set it on a wand tilt the wand, you can use a small pair of tongs in places of a lid wand.

13.  Boil the jars with the jam in it

Lower the jars onto a rack in a large stock pot, place a rack on the bottom so that the jars do not rest directly on the pot. Add enough water, cover and allow to boil for 10 minutes.

14. Cool the jars.

Remove the jars from the boiling water. Jar tongs are the best secured and safe way of doing this. Place the jars on a clean towel and allow the full jars to cool for 24 hours in a place safe from drafts. The contents while cooling will be making a loud plunk and creating a partial vacuum in the jar.

15. Make sure the jars are sealed.

The vacuum created when the contents cooled should have pulled the dome lid down very tightly. If any jars have not sealed, you are free to place another fresh lid on the old one and process them again or you put the unsealed once in the refrigerator and use the content soon. Wash the outside with soap and water to remove any sticky residue. At this point you can remove the rings since the seal should hold themselves securely, allow the rings and jars to get dry before replacing the ring to avoid rust.

Conclusion

Fruits that are slightly under ripe will make good jam than those that are soft, sweet and over ripe as they have higher acidity which lends itself better to process. Pectin naturally occurs in lots of fruit and is what makes your jam set.

Preserving pans should be big and wide, giving the largest possible surface area, allowing for faster water evaporation and move concentrated flavour to your jam. But if you do not have one, you can use the largest saucepan. Jam can served with bread, doughnuts etc.

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