Making Jam

Making Homemade Jam

 

Fresh homemade jam (jelly) is one of the most amazing things that will come out of your garden.

Here is a short How to of making your own jam from your own grown fruit (or fruit from the market or a friend’s garden).

 

I usually use jam sugar from the supermarket, which is basically sugar and pectin which comes from unripe apples. It sometimes contains a little citric acid or lemon juice which is to keep the color as rich as the day you made the jam.

 

Step 1: Setting Up

 

Put on a very big pot of water and bring it to the boil

Lay out a towel on your counter/bench

Pick out the jars you want to use & place them in the boiling water for 5 minutes, lids too, and place them on the towel. I have special jar tongs to avoid getting burnt. They are now sterilized. Be sure to use jars with metal lids that close well.

Also sterilize any other equipment you may use, like the ladle, spoons, jug, and/or funnel

Keep the hot water right to the end in case you’ve forgotten to sterilize something or if you want to rinse off the jars or anything else at the end. Jam can be super sticky so hot water is always super handy to have nearby.

 

Step 2: The Fruit

 

Place the fruit onto the scales and make sure you have the correct ratio of fruit to sugar. This is usually 1kg of fruit to 1 bag of sugar but check the one that you have bought. Some fruit like strawberries and cherries contains more water & less natural pectin so you may want to use a little less fruit to sugar ratio to make sure it is thick enough.

Clean the fruit, if there is a little bit of water left in it, this is not a problem.

 

Step 3: Cooking

 

Place the fruit in a large pot, cook it to boiling point. Stir it so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Boil it for about 5-10 minutes so that the fruit is soft and does not contain any whole fruit. You may like to take the potato masher to break any larger pieces up.

Once the jam is cooked you can add the sugar. Bring it back to the boil and cook for a few more minutes (as per sugar instructions)

 

Step 4: Getting it in the Jars

 

Be careful not to touch the inside of the sterilized jars with your hands. Place the jam in the jars, either with a ladle or by pouring it in using a funnel. Fill them right up to the top of the jar.

 

Put the lid on (hand tight) and flip the jar upside down. This will force the air out of the jam.

Sit them to cool, label the jam so you can identify the flavor and year. It will easily last on the shelf for one year. Refrigerate it after opening; it can last more than 3 months, although usually we eat it much faster.

 

Tips: If you don’t have access to jam sugar you can use unripe apples with the fruit, the natural pectin in the apples will thicken the jam. Alternatively you can make jam without any sugar by slowly reducing the fruit to a thickness you require. I do not use either of these options as I have a sweet tooth and really like the jam with the jam sugar in it.

 

Enjoy your home made jam

 

Thank you mum for teaching me how to make jam! My life has never been the same since!