I’m playing catch up with my posts — I didn’t envision writing about jam this late into September, but alas that’s what has happened.
Jam making has been a tradition in my family for a long time — my grandmother made it for as long as I can remember, and now my aunt is following suit. I have always wanted to make it, but city living + lack of equipment and resources (more the latter) has held me back until now. I confess that I am a complete canning novice. Prior to the jam I’d never done it before, although especially within the past 1-2 years it’s definitely something I’ve become more interested in.
There are two ways to make jam (as far as I am aware of anyway) — the old-fashioned way of boiling berries and sugar, or with pectin. We did the latter (and used Certo — even if you’re familiar with it, please check out the website, which looks like it came from 1998!). Essentially, the jam has to gel and stabilize, and the pectin does this without the necessity of boiling for hours. I confess that, usually, taking shortcuts is not really something that appeals to me in the kitchen. However, this is the way my grandmother did it, and it’s quick and easy so I am on board! 🙂
Here’s how to make it. Note that this is just the basic formula — you’ll need to follow the instructions as to measurements depending on how much you want to make. We used 8 cups of berries which made 14 jars.
- Prepare all equipment first by disinfecting the jars & lids (we put the jars in the oven and boiled the lids).
- Crush the berries lightly and place in a pan with the sugar.
- Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
- Then bring the pot to a full rolling boil and boil rapidly for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Certo. Skim off any foam, if necessary.
- Ladle the jam into jars immediately — close the lids but don’t screw them on too tightly immediately as it still has to set (we did this the next day).