Ramblings of a true to form Gemini

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


So when my husband and I bought our first house in April of 2009, it had quite a few fruit trees already planted. The peaches bloomed and ripened the best of all of them. Having buckets and buckets of peaches and not knowing what to do, I called my mom. She said slice and peel the ripe ones and put them in freezer bags, freeze them until she can visit from to teach me to make jam. 6 freezer bags full of peaches have been sitting in my freezer since then. I convinced my mom and baby sister to come down and stay a few days to make jam. Oh, and baby sister is also getting her graduation pictures taken by Jessica at Sweet Pea Photography

There are lots of ways to make jam and this way is ours. This is the directions to make one batch of jam, we will be making multiple batches of jam. This will make a chunky tasty jam and not a clear jelly.
DISCLAIMER: This process is a HOT one. Be careful! You are making a HOT fruit syrup it can burn you. Even the most experienced jam makers still get burned from time to time.

To begin you will need some specialty items:
A steam canner pot
Canning jars (we are using 6 half pint jars)
canning rings and seals
Jar funnel
A box of SureJell fruit pectin (1.75 oz box)

4 1/2 cups of Peach Pulp and Juice (just so you know, I am lazy and didn't peel all of the peaches, it will just give it texture and will not effect the finished product in a negative way)
3 cups of White Sugar, with 1/4 cup set aside
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Butter (to cut the foam, if foam does form it can be skimmed off or stirred down)
NOTE: Please measure everything before beginning.

Wash the rings and seals, then put them in a pot of water, bring to a boil. Leave covered and take off of the heat. Sterilize the jars in the dishwasher, leave them in the dishwasher until you are ready to fill them DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR! Set up the steam canner by filling the bottom part (the small pan) with water, put the grill on and the lid (the large part) on the stove and bring to a boil.

In a stockpot place the fruit pulp and juice, mix in the box of SureJell, the 1/4 cup of sugar and add the butter. Place pot on the stove and bring to a  rolling boil (a boil that can not be stirred down), stirring often with a wooden spoon.

Add the remaining sugar. Bring back to a roiling boil, stirring often. Once at a roiling boil, cook for 1 minute.

With tongs pull out seals and rings for the jars and replace the lid of the pot, to keep the remaining seals and rings warm. Pull jars out of the dishwasher and close the door, to keep the remaining jars warm.

Ladle hot fruit mixture into jars. Wipe down the jar rim and place the seal and ring, screw down the ring to just tight. Place the jars on the grill of the steam canner (at a boil), starting in the middle and circling outward making sure not to have the jars too close together. If the jars are placed too close they can break.

Replace the lid of the steam canner and once steam starts coming out from under the lid set timer for 10 minutes. When timer is up, turn off heat and wait till steam stops coming out from under the lid. Remove the lid and make sure that all the seals have popped down and wait 1 minute. With a towel, take the jars off the grill one at a time. Wipe off the water that has collected on the jars and tighten the rings. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN! Place jars on a trivet or folded towel to cool, leaving space between each jar. Allow the jars to cool over night before storing in a cool dark place.

I also had some some strawberries to jam. The method is the same, but measurements are different.
6 cups Strawberry pulp and juice
4 cups White Sugar with 1/4 cup set aside
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Butter
NOTE: Strawberry tends to foam even with the butter, so the best thing is to skim off the foam with a metal spoon. The foam is pretty tasty on toast.

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Soledad, Ca, United States
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