Homemade jam and jelly is easier to make than you think and tastes 100 times better than store bought! Never made preserves or perhaps you need a refresher on a couple of things? Here is everything you need to know about how to make jam at home!
Whenever I go home, I always bring several jars of preserves. I wrap them carefully and label each jar. And when we get to Mom and Dad’s I always find an inspection tag from the TSA.
And usually, a jar disappears! I swear I need to pack scones so the agents at TSA have something to spread those preserves on! 😋
I know my family members really appreciate the treat. Aunts Barb and Shirley have been known to arm wrestle or even steal a jar when the other isn’t looking.
But it’s all in good fun!
Have you ever made your own? It’s so much easier to make than you think and tastes SO MUCH better than what you buy at the store!
Basic Equipment Needed
- canning jars
- 2 large pots – one for making jam, one for sterilizing jars, rings
- wooden spoon
- hot pan holder
Lemon juice provides two benefits; it helps preserve the color of the fruit – for instance, it helps keeps peaches yellow as opposed to turning brown when it cooks.
Additionally, it works together with the pectin to help thicken the preserves.
No! You can make jam without pectin. Pectin does not preserve jam, but assists in the “jelling” process.
Cook it low and slow – removing the moisture in the berries will thicken them.
Chia seeds will thicken preserves without pectin.
Properly preserved jam will last up to two years when stored in a cool dry place. Once opened, it will last in your refrigerator for about three months.
WAIT one week before deciding the jam isn’t setting up! Many jams like this Christmas in July Pepper Jam can take several days to set up, just be patient!
If your jam is too runny, remove it from the jars and pour it back into a large pot.
Add another package of pectin and bring the preserves to a boil.
Boil EXACTLY one minute, remove from heat and ladle back into clean sterilized jars and seal.
Yes, if you need to fix runny jam follow the directions as stated above.
Yes, if there is mold on the jam, jelly or preserves discard the entire jar.
The jam may have changed color, have mold on top, or perhaps there’s a change in the smell of the jam. Properly sealed,
Steps to make Homemade Jam
Next mash the berries, rather than chop them. This old fashioned method takes a little
Using a food processor will introduce air into the berries making the jam frothy.
Measure the exact amount of fruit the recipe calls for. Too much fruit the jam may turn out runny. Not enough it could be too thick and you’ll end up with the wrong texture.
Measure the exact amount of sugar the recipe calls for and process it according to the directions.
Bring it to a rolling boil. A rolling boil is a boil that can’t be stirred down. Here’s what a rolling boil looks like:
When the jam has been at a hard boil for exactly one minute, remove from the heat and immediately ladle into clean sterilized jars.
Before securing the lid on the jars with rings be sure to clean the tops of the jars, removing any residue so the lids get a good seal.
Next screw on the rings and process in a hot water bath to seal the jars.
Jam Recipes for Canning
Helpful tips for making jam, jelly and preserves
- Do not reuse metal lids.
- Canning rings are reusable as long as they are not rusted or dented.
- Have good heavy potholders available!
- This is a gorgeous jam and the first thing you’ll want to do is stick your finger in it to taste – DON’T do that as in reality this is boiling sugar!
- Don’t skimp on the amount of sugar or fruit in a recipe, if you do the jam may not set or it could be too firm. Canning is one
partcooking, one partscience!
- Lastly….if you make jam or jelly and it doesn’t set. Label it syrup – your family will never know the difference! 😉
Here are some of my most popular jams and jellies that I know you’ll love!
- Homemade Strawberry Jam
- Peach Jam
- Apricot Jam
- Blueberry Pizzaz Jam
- Ja Makin’ Me Crazy Mango Jam
- Bam Bam Pomegranate Jam
- More jam recipes? You bet! Just click here!
Recipes that use jelly and preserves
- Orange Marmalade Glazed Ham
- Baked French Toast with Strawberry Jam
- Blackberry Jam Recipe
- Homemade Vinaigrette
- Twisted PB&J Sandwich
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Here are the tools you’ll need to make jam!
- 8 oz. canning jars with lids
- 4 oz. canning jars with lids
- canning essentials box kit
- stainless steel ladle
If you post a photo, please tag me! I’d love to see your pictures! You can tag me with #bowlmeover or if you’re on Instagram use @bowl_me_over I can’t wait to see how yummy this turned out for you!
Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe
- 4 cups mashed strawberries
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 3 oz. Sure-jell low sugar pectin pink box, powder pectin
- Clean the berries. Remove the stems, mash and measure out exactly 4 cups of fruit.
- Measure the exact amount of sugar into a large pot. Add the pectin and whisk together.
- Stir in crushed berries and bring to a boil.
- Boil for exactly one minute – a hard boil you can't stir down.
- Remove from heat, ladle immediately into container, leaving 1/2 inch for expansion at the top.
- Let stand at room temperature for one day before refrigerating or freezing.