Jam is something I always have in my pantry. It’s so very versatile. I particularly love to use it to dress up cookies. I’ve made jam before, but have never canned it, so this was a learning experience for me. I spent tons of time searching the internet for the proper procedure and realized, after searching many sites, that it was really not that complicated. You just have to make sure that everything is sterilized, place hot jam in hot jars, and be sure to boil them for the recommended amount of time. You can make your own jams in any flavors you want, but I chose: Strawberry Balsamic, Lemon Curd, Mango Cinnamon, and Blueberry Lime. Now, I know that Lemon Curd isn’t a jam, but I just love it so much that I had to make it. I used Ina Garden’s recipe for the Lemon Curd and doubled the amounts. This Set of Four Jams is up for bid on March 30th over at The Tomato Tart, so be sure to stop by and bid; there will be four sets available, so your chances of getting one will be pretty good. Because they have been canned, they will last up to a year, but I expect they will be long gone before then. Except for the Lemon Curd, they are egg and dairy free.
Here’s what you need:
6 cups fruit (fresh or frozen)
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar depending on the sweetness of your fruit
4 Tbls cornstarch
2 Tbls spices or seasonings (cinnamon, lime zest and juice, or balsamic vinegar)
Here’s what you do:
First wash the jelly jars. The websites recommended using a dishwasher to sterilize the jars and to keep them warm on the dry setting. Next, prepare the lids by placing them in simmering water and fill your canning pot with enough water to cover your jars by 1 to 2 inches and bring it to a simmer, so it will be hot when you are ready to boil the jars. Also prepare your canning equipment: a canning funnel, lid lifter, and jar lifter. (I bought a kit)
Place the jam ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until they begin to boil, about 12-14 minutes. Boil the jam for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the jam is thick.
Once the jam is thickened, you need to blend it using an immersion blender (if using a regular blender, be careful because the jam is very hot) and return it to the stove to stay warm.
Time to fill your jars! Remove hot jars from the dishwasher (I worked with two at a time) and place near stove. Using canning funnel, fill jars with hot jam. Be sure to leave head space at the top of the jars and make sure that there aren’t any air bubbles. Using the lid lifter, retrieve lids from simmering water and place onto jars. Seal with a metal ring.
Once you have enough jars to fill your canning pot, start placing the jars in the pot using the jar lifter. Increase the stove to high heat to bring the water to a boil. Once the water boils, cover and boil the jam jars for about 10 minutes.
Remove the boiled jam jars from the canning pot using jar lifter and place on wire rack to cool in a non-drafty place. Leave jars to sit for 24 hours without tilting or moving them.
Any jars that do not seal properly need to be refrigerated and used first. The sealed jars will last up to a year.