Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jammin Good Time

I love summertime; all the fresh fruit means jam to me.  We have great farmers' markets here in Seattle, in fact, the Public Market, in downtown Seattle, is the oldest in the country.  This weekend, I chose blueberries and early peaches and in about two hours, I made 20-8oz. jars of jam--12 blueberry and 8 peach.  I imagined Kelly saying, "did you get carried away, again?  This isn't Little House on the Prairie, Mom!"   Well, in my defense, I do give most of it away, but then, if I want to make up Jam Tarts or Toaster Tarts, I have the filling!

Take advantage of summer's bounty and make jam.  Your family will be impressed and they do make wonderful gifts to dear friends and family.

6 -8oz jars
large Dutch oven (I like LeCruset - it's enamel lined cast iron)
canning supplies

small sauce pan to sterilize rings & lids

Blueberry Jam

4 cups crushed blueberries
4 cups granulated sugar
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. finely grated lemon zest
1 pkg. 1.75oz Sure~Jell powdered fruit pectin

Prepare jars.
Wash, dry and sort your blueberries.  I made two batches (12 jars) because I had over 3 pounds of blueberries.  

In a food processor, pulse the blueberries until a fine chop.  Measure the 4 cups of crushed berries.
In the Dutch oven, put the crushed blueberries, package of Sure~Jell, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter (helps cut down on the foam).  Bring to a boil, while stirring.  Add the sugar, all at once, and stir completely.  Bring to a boil, again, while stirring.  Set timer for 60 seconds when you have a boil that you can not stir down.  Turn off and ladle into the sterilized jars.  Add a lid and a ring and tighten.  Turn jar upside down.  Complete the rest of the jars.  
*Note:  Even though I made 12 jars, I still only made a batch at a time.  Do Not Double the Recipe!

Peach Jam

5 cups crushed peaches
6 cups sugar
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 pkg.-1.75 oz. Sure~Jell fruit pectin

Wash, peel and pit the peaches.  Here's a tip: do yourself a favor and invest in a "tomato" peeler.  This peeler not only peels the skin of a tomato, without tearing, it's great for peaches.
I also have a peach corer/slicer, but then, I do tend to go overboard with gadgets and you can do that the "old-fashioned" way.  In the food processor, pulse the peaches to puree.  Measure out 5 cups of pureed fruit.  Add to the Dutch oven, along with, the lemon juice, almond extract, 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter and 1 package Sure~Jell fruit pectin.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Add the sugar, all at once, and stir completely.  Bring mixture back to a boil, stirring constantly.  When the boil is "hard" enough that you can't stir down, set timer for 60 seconds.  Turn off jam, ladle into sterilized jars, add a sterilized lid and ring and seal.  Turn upside down.

Test seals after ten minutes.  There should be no movement in the lid if sealed properly.  If you're still able to push it down and it springs up, turn the jar over again and retry after five minutes.  Any jars that don't seal, should be refrigerated.  

However, you can seal them in a water bath.  Place jars in a large pot with a rack on the bottom, cover jars with water, 1-inch over, cover and bring to a boil.  Maintain a low boil with the lid on for 10 minutes.  Your jars should seal.  Enjoy!



  1. Oh we love to make and eat jam here as well. And I agree that it makes wonderful gifts. We always make strawberry, blueberry, apricot and cherry. I really should make peach as that is one of my little one's favorite fruit. And I may try my hand at black raspberry as the wild berry patches are just over flowing with beautiful berries.

    Blessings, Elizabeth

  2. Goodness! I just bought blueberries from my market today and thought I didn't have enough for jam, but I think I did now after reading your post!! Hopefully that vendor has more next week ;)

  3. There were just so many fruits to choose from at the Farmer's Market. Next week, I'm getting red raspberries, strawberries (our Washington variety) and blackberries. Thank goodness for Peanut Butter & Jam sandwiches or I would have starved as a youngster! I think it's like can't have too much jam. lol!

  4. I enjoyed seeing the Blue Hydrangea, one also made it into my recent post with thoughts of Kelly : ) Susan, this jam looks incredible!!! Peach and Blueberry!?!? *sigh* it does not get much better than this! xoxo Love you!