Used this for an extra MOPS event- a Jam-N-Can. It was set up for those interested in making jam and water bath canning their results, even if they hadn’t ever done it before.
Prepare cans/lids/rings: wash in hot soapy water. Sterilize jars in boiling water and keep in hot water until ready to fill (drastic temp change of hot jam in a cold jar may cause it to break/crack).
Rings can be set aside. Lids should be kept in a separate container of hot/boiling water until use.
Get your canner ready. Make sure there’s a “spacer” in the bottom of the canner to allow water circulation around the bottom of the jars. Put a couple inches of hot water in and put on the burner to start heating the water after you start heating your jam mixture. It doesn’t have to be boiling when you put your jam in, but it will go quicker if it’s already hot.
Measure 7 cups of sugar into a bowl, set aside.
Hull 2 quarts of strawberries (=2 lbs = 8 cups whole berries). Crush with potato masher (or food processor) to desired “chunkiness” in small batches in another bowl. Measure into large saucepan- should be 5 cups mashed fruit with juice. If you’re short, add water to equal 5 cups.
Add 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) of lemon juice to the berries, then mix in your package of pectin (1 3/4 oz, or 5 Tablespoons if you bought it in bulk).
Bring the berry mix to a boil, stir often. Add sugar to hot berries and mix in to dissolve. Bring to a rolling boil (cant be stirred down) and boil 2 minutes. Stir constantly.
Remove from heat, ladle into prepared cans to 1/4″ from the top. Make sure rims are clean, put on the hot lid and ring (tighten with hands). Put in hot water bath canner. Add enough water to cover all lids with 1″ of water. Bring to a boil; process (boil) 10 minutes. Remove from water, set on a towel with space between jars to cool. The lids will “ping” as they cool. Test the lids once completely cool (like 24 hours later). Any unsealed jar lids will spring back. These should be put in the fridge to use right away. Remove rings, wash any sticky residue off the jars, label them, and put them on your shelf (out of the light to prevent color change) to enjoy later.
Makes 8 cup size jars or 4 pint size jars, plus a little to put in a container in your fridge to enjoy right away.
*Follow directions from a canning book for different size jars and different items being canned.
http://www.pickyourown.org has lots of good info/directions for canning many common foods. There’s also links to some of the local places you can pick or purchase fresh produce and typical seasons.
Everyone has their favorite. Find out what you like to use.
Don’t change the sugar and fruit ratios from what your pectin calls for. It’s a bit picky and must be in the right proportions.
There are low/no sugar pectins available, but it may make a runnier jam/jelly. There’s also other recipes and sweetener options if you look around some.
It’s not necessary to use in all jams. Some fruits contain pectin and if cooked to the right temperatures for the right time frames, you can make jam or jelly without it, but it’s harder/longer. Again, look around and you can find more info. There’s also something called a “small batch” jam that doesn’t take the pectin, and cooks a small batch in a large surface area pan (fry pan, I think) to cook it faster so it gels quicker than traditional no pectin recipes.