If you haven’t tasted a homemade fruit jelly or jam, then you don’t know what you are missing. It is easy to go through the process yourself and create sweet fruit condiments that can be the talk of your table even in the wintertime.
We will discuss how to make homemade jellies and jams. To keep your creations fresh for months to come, you can follow up the jam making process with the canning process to keep them from spoiling.
The basic recipe here can be used for just about any type of fruit. We all know about strawberry or grape jam or jelly, but you can also experiment with raspberries, gooseberries, loganberries, damson plums or a combination of berries.
* Fruit – Choose fruit that is at the peak of freshness. This ensures that it will taste fresh when it is eaten.
* Pectin – This is a natural fruit sugar. All fruit produces it, but not in great enough quantities to gel your jellies and jams. One box should work for each recipe. But, if you plan on making jellies often, you can purchase several at a time.
* Sugar – Even though pectin is used, you will still want to add a measure of sugar or other sweetener (agave, honey or Splenda) for taste.
* Lemon Juice – This helps the gel to thicken and set. When placed on cut fruit, it also delays browning from exposure to the air.
* Pot – Choose a large Dutch oven to prepare your fruit jam or jelly.
* Large spoons – These are used to stir and also to transfer your fruit to canning jars.
* Funnel – Allows for easier transfer with no mess.
* Canning Jars – Choose the size that is best for the amount you are making. Usually one package of pectin will produce about five to six cups of fruit preserved.
* Canner – With fruit, you can use a hot water bath instead of buying a pressure canner.
Clean and mash your fruit – This is not a complete mash. Just mush them a bit so that you are not working with whole fruit. It also releases the flavor better. You will need about eight cups of fruit to work with.
Sanitize your jars and lids – This can be done in a dishwasher. If you are canning the jelly for storage, the lids and screw bands will need to go in a hot water bath.
Measure the sugar – The pectin package should tell you how much sugar to add depending on the amount and type of fruit. Add a fourth cup of sugar to the pectin and mix together.
Add pectin to fruit – Mix these together in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the remaining sugar you measured out at a full boil. Bring back to a boil for one minute.
Remove foam – If you have any foam on the top, remove it to lessen the amount of air in your jars. Check to see if your jam is the desired thickness before filling the jars. Proceed with the canning process if you are not going to eat the jam right away.
Create wonderful jams and jellies using the recipe above and your favorite fruit.