I think I have found a new hobby!
Making homemade jam! Unlike some of my other hobbies, this one is actually kind of useful in a Laura Ingalls-Wilder kind of way. Who doesn’t like something tasty, wholesome, and homemade? Up until recently, I had been a little intimidated by the idea of trying to can something but I had purchased a home canning kit and it made a seemingly difficult task into something so easy and rewarding.
Two of my husband’s sisters came up for a visit and we all went out to the supermarket to buy kiwis. Kiwis are typically grown and imported from New Zealand and since they are in the Southern Hemisphere, they are in season over there so they are very cheap and plentiful right now around where I live.
Items you will need:
-Large water bath canner or large stock pot (this works if you are using the small decorative jam jars)
-Small pot of to heat your lids – this gets the seals “sticky”
-Pot for cooking your fruit/ sugar combination
-Canning kit or the following utensils (jar lifter, funnel, lid magnet)
-Damp rag for wiping jar edges
-5-6 decorative jam jars
It is a sort of adaptation of a recipe used for kiwi jam that we found in the Ball Blue Book of Home Preserving and it makes a chunkier jam
1 cup crushed pineapple (chop it in the food processor or blender)
3 cups crushed and peeled kiwi fruit – firm fruit makes tangier jam.
4 cups of granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla (because vanilla makes everything better!)
2 Tblsp of low sugar pectin ( or 4 Tblsp of the regular stuff)
Note: Don’t add too much pectin – you will have some pretty thick jam – unless you like it that way. I did that the first time I tried doing this. When in doubt, follow the directions on the package. If you decide to go with the no sugar pectin, you will be assured that your jam will gel and you won’t have to use quite as much.
Also, if you don’t want to actually process your jars in a water bath to make them shelf stable, you can just mix the fruit, sugar, and pectin together in a pot, bring it to a boil and put your filled jam jars straight into the freezer when they are cooled. This is freezer jam and it is also extremely delicious and a little bit brighter in color than canned jam!
Before you start cooking your fruit, get your large water bath pot heating. You need to have that already boiling by the time you are ready to fill your jars otherwise you will be waiting around forever for that large pot of water to boil.
Combine the crushed fruit and sugar into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. While you are cooking your fruit, get a small pot of water boiling and put your lids in it
You can put a small pat of butter into the pot of boiling fruit/ sugar mixture to prevent foaming but we didn’t end up having to do that.
Get your jam mixture up to a rolling boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Add your pectin and stir it in really well. Start filling your jars and leave 1/4 inch of space at the top. The canning kit comes with a handy little measuring tool but we just eye-balled it and it worked out fine.
Wipe the edges of your jars so the lids will seal properly and put your heated lids on the jars and seal it nice and tight with a ring. After all your jars have been filled, process the mixture in that large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. This makes sure everything is sanitary and will help your jars seal properly.
So Stinkin Easy!
beautiful yellowish green color with all those interesting little black seeds floating in it.
No additives, no preservatives, no food dye…just the good stuff
My sister-in-law said it is easy to become a canning addict once you see all those pretty jars lined up on your counter top and you hear your first jar make that lovely popping sound when it seals.
Do you have any interesting jam combinations? Leave a comment! I found an interesting recipe for Peach Pit Jelly over at Country Hearts at Home that I think I might try this spring when peaches are on sale later this Spring!