Homemade Jam

Strawberry Apricot Jam
(makes 2 pints or 4 cups)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
  • 3 fresh apricots, pitted and sliced
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 packets of pectin (0.4 ounces each)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
 Black Cherry Vanilla Bean Jam
(makes 2 1/2 pints or 5 cups)
  • 2 pounds frozen sweet dark pitted cherries, thawed
  • seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 packets of pectin (0.4 ounces each)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Combine the fruit, lemon juice and spices (if using any) in a large stockpot.  Gently mash the fruit to release the juices, but leave it chunky.  Gradually stir in the pectin.  Turn the burner to high, and bring to a vigorous boil while stirring constantly.
Add the sugar all at once and stir well to dissolve.  Bring to a boil again over high heat, and boil hard for one minute.

Remove from heat.  Jam may look runny, but it will gel as it cools, and remember that it will also continue to cook during the water bath.

Pour hot jam into hot, sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch "headspace" at the top, to allow for expansion.  Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp cloth.  Center lids on jars, then screw on the rings "fingertip tight".  Place jars in a large pot of simmering water, ensuring that jars are covered by 1-2 inches of water.

Cover the pot, and bring water to a steady, gentle boil over medium heat.  Once it starts boiling, set the timer for 10 minutes (20 minutes if you're at high altitude like me).  After the timer goes off, remove the lid and remove the pot from heat; let jars sit in the water for an additional 5 minutes.  

Remove jars from water with tongs and allow to cool on a wire rack overnight.  Check the seal on the lid after 12 hours.  If the center of the lid is indented, then it has sealed properly, and you can store in your pantry for up to a year (refrigerate once you open it).  If the center of the lid pops up and down when you press on it, then it did not seal correctly;  you should refrigerate and eat within a few months.

Original Blog Post:  http://www.curlygirlkitchen.com/2011/06/sweet-and-sticky-evening-of-jam-making.html