For the past 2 weeks, my family has been in “jam emergency mode”, meaning that for the past 2 weeks, we have not had any jam in the house.
“Cayla, why are you not buying jam?” you may be asking at this point? To answer your question, I haven’t bought jam in over 5 years. And for the first time in 5 years, my stockpile of homemade jam ran out before I had a chance to make more.
Now, I am sure you are rolling your eyes at me and making fun of my quest to be the Canadian Martha Stewart. While I’m not denying that’s true, I will state that making jam is going to get me there. You see, like last week’s butter recipe, making jam is a whole lot easier that you may think. Not only that, but the taste will blow your mind. And unlike butter, you can make jars and jars of it at a time.enough for a whole year, in fact.
Not only is homemade jam easy and delicious, it is also healthier and so much fun to make. I get by berries from one of two places: pick-your-own farms or a Farmers’ Market. That way, I am assured that my fruit is organic and is being made into jam as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours of it being picked. My kids LOVE coming to both of these places with me. They love being active participants in the whole process: from sampling the berries in the field to sampling the unusual produce at the Farmers’ Market to squishing the berries once we start making the jam. And of course, they love being on “quality control” duty and being the first to sample the warm jam when it’s ready.
Ingredients – Part 1:
Certa Light fruit pectin (my favorite kind…feel free to use your own)
A whole bunch of jars (about 8 cups worth). Normally, I use a mixture of the jars I’ve collected over the years and store-bought jars that look “pretty” if I give them away.
Ingredients – Part 2:
Once you start making the actual jam, it moves pretty fast and requires your complete concentration. So put the phone away, close the laptop, and get completely organized before you start.
1. Read the directions from the Certa to find out exactly how much sugar and fruit you need before starting. I normally, make two kinds of jam: strawberry and raspberry-peach.
2. Buy your fruit and sugar.
3. Sterilize you jars and all tools using either the directions in the package or by using your dishwasher, if it has a sterilizing function (mine does). This is the most time-consuming part.
3. Follow the directions on the box to a “T”…at least the first couple time you make it. Over the past few years, I’ve become more confident in my jam-making abilities and have put my own unique touch into my jam, such as adding a tablespoon or so of chopped fresh lavender and mint into the sugar before adding it to the fruit.
Note: I always make two batches of each kind of jam, one to eat and one to give.