Garden Tips & Tidbits: Turning your Harvest into Jam!
My garden is going through a raspberry explosion!! Remember when I showed you how to prune raspberries earlier this year? Well, here are my raspberry bushes now…and HEAVY with delicious fruit ready to be made into jam and either canned or frozen to enjoy later in the year!
If you’ve never canned homemade jam before you should give it a try. Especially if you have access to free fruit or you can purchase fruit on sale. I was able to produce nine 1/2 pints of jam in just under 1 hour with the following recipe. Normally I use standard canning jars, but I used specialty jars this time around. This Christmas I plan on giving away jars of homemade raspberry jam and boxes of scone mix as hostess gifts so I purchased fancy jars instead.
Check out the full process below…
To get started you’ll need to purchase or borrow a canner. I like to use a smaller canning pot for jam. The smaller size allows you to can 7 pints (or 1/2 pints) at a time. To get started fill the canner about 2/3rds full with water and bring to a boil.
In a separate pot heat jars and lids in hot water (not boiling) until ready to use. Keeping the jars nice and warm prevents the jars from breaking when hot jam is added.
Next you’ll need to follow the directions according to your pectin packet. For this recipe I used liquid pectin. Normally I use the dry packets that come in the box… but I had a bunch of liquid pectin in the pantry I picked up last year on clearance. FYI: You can pick up the Ball Flex Batch Pectin for only $1.19 a jar (makes 22 1/2 pints) at Fred Meyer this week if you use the $1/1 coupon from the 6/12 SS.
For liquid pectin I simply combined 4 cups of crushed raspberries, 6 1/2 cups of sugar (yikes!) and 1/2 a tsp of butter (to prevent foaming).
While I was waiting for my jam mixture to come to a full rolling boil over high heat I set up my work station.
After the jam mixture comes to a full roiling boil you’ll add 1 the contents of 1 packet of liquid pectin and bring then continue to let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Next remove from heat and skim off any foam.
Next you’ll grab your hot jars ( I use something similar to this) with tongs and drain the water.
Place a funnel over your jar and carefully pour in your hot jam mixture.
Leave about 1/4 th inch head space and be sure and use a clean damp cloth to remove any residue.
Place your hot lid on the jar, apply the band and tighten.
Next place your jars in the canner. Make sure the water covers your jars by at least 1 to 2 inches. Place the lid on the canner and bring the water back to a steady boil. Process your jars for 10 minutes (longer for altitudes higher than 1,000 feet above sea level).
Remove jars from the canner and place on a towel to cool untouched for 12-24 hours. Before putting your jars away be sure and check your lids to make sure they all sealed. You’ll know the jars are sealed if you touch the center of the lid and it does not pop back up. If it does pop back up the jar is not sealed. If that is the case simply place the jar in the fridge and enjoy your jam within a few weeks or reprocess the jam using a different lid.
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