Making cooked jam is a pretty exact science, unlike other types of cooking where a dash of this or a pinch of that doesn’t change the overall result, “jamming” must be done precisely in order to achieve the shelf stable preserved product. Cooked Jams also contain a lot, ALOT of sugar. This tends to put some people off of Jams and Jellies, that’s ok. In my house we use the sweet and delicious spread rather sparingly, it sweetens up toast with the summer memory of Fresh Peaches or spices up crackers and cheese with strangely addictive Rhubarb-Jalapeño flavours. In order to safely and properly preserve fruit in jam or jelly form, sugar is a must. There are low sugar options and sugar alternative options but I don’t make those!
All cooked Jams and Jellies follow the same cooking instructions. Regardless of the recipe for fruit, the method never deviates.
- Place the exactly measured and prepared fruit into a heavy bottom deep stock-pot.
- Add one pouch of either Certo Powder or Bernardin Powder. I don’t ever use liquid because my Grandma didn’t and I have no experience with it.
- Over high heat stir with a long handled wooden spoon.
- Stir continuously until the fruit begins to boil.
- Add all of the sugar the recipe calls for. Measured exactly.
- Stir continuously to incorporate all of the sugar, keep stirring while the mixture returns to a boil.
- Once the fruit mixture has returned to a hard boil (one that cannot be stirred down), STOP stirring, set a 1 minute timer. Let it boil hard without stirring for a full minute.
- Turn off the heat as soon as the minute is up. Set a 5 minute timer and begin stirring again.
- For the next 5 minutes stir the fruit continuously. Sometimes there may be foam that collects on the surface of the jam, gently skim that off and set aside in a dish for eating on toast while the jars are in the water bath.
- After 5 minutes the jam or jelly is ready to be filled into the prepared jars.
For instructions on preparing jars and two -piece lids and filling jars click here.
For instructions on water bath canning click here.