Sunday, August 1, 2010

More Jam!

How can I help myself?  All this beautiful fruit of the summer and jam comes to mind.  I told my sister I need to enter a 12-Step Program or Betty Ford for my addiction...I am obsessed!  She thinks, for me, it's the act of crushing the fruit and she likens it to Mom telling us that kneading bread helped relieve her frustrations.

Today, I broke a record and preserved 36 jars of jam.  I did a Plum~Cardamon, Peach~Mango, and a Triple Berry, or as I have called it, Berry~Berry.  If this doesn't convince you how easy it is to make jam, I don't know what will.  In addition to a good Dutch Oven (I use Le Cruset) the only other tools you need are tongs, a funnel, and jar lifters.  Most grocery stores and Bed, Bath & Beyond, carry the jars you will need and I use the powdered Sure~Jell fruit pectin to set my jam.  With just a little time, making jam is easy and, as I can tell you first hand, very satisfying. 

Plum~Cardamon Jam

4 lbs. plums (I used the Santa Rosa variety)
1 T. whole cardamon pods
8 cups gransulated sugar
1 pkg. Sure~Jell powdered pectin
1/2 tsp. butter
10 or 11 8oz-size jars

Prepare jars:
Wash jars, lids, and rings in very warm, soapy water.  Use your fingers to check the rims of the jars for any nicks; don't use it they're not perfectly smooth.  Rinse thoroughly and place the rings in a saucepan, covered with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the lids to the saucepan with the rings. Meanwhile, fill jars with water and microwave on high; 4 jars at a time=4 minutes/30 seconds, but check your microwave, the water should boil.  Use the jar lifters to transfer the hot jars to a tray or baking sheet.  I cover my baking sheet with paper towels to catch any drips.  Dump the water and turn the jars upside down, then, cover with a dish towel while you prepare the jam.

For plum jam, slice plums in half, do not peel.  Discard the pit.
Place the plums in the food processor and pulse to finely chop.  Place plums in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water.  Place the cardamon pods in a "cheesecloth" bag or, I used a tea bag paper that you can find in the tea section of your grocery store.  Bring this mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Let sit a few minutes to further steep the flavor of the cardamon.  Transfer this mixture to a large Dutch Oven.  Add the packaged pectin and the butter (it reduces foaming).  Bring to a boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on Med/High heat, stirring constantly.
Add the sugar quickly and stir thoroughly.  Return to a full rolling boil and set a timer for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

When timer goes off, turn off jam.  Ladle quickly into the jars, using the funnel and filling the jars within 1/8-inch of the top.   Wipe the rim with a wet paper towel to make sure there is no spillage.  Use tongs to pick up a lid, pat it on a dry folded paper towel and place on top of the jar.  Pick up a ring and screw tightly.  Turn jar upside down.  Repeat with remaining jars.  Wait 10-15 minutes, then turn jars right-side up.  You should hear the jars "pop" when sealed.  If the lid still springs back, turn jar upside down again and wait another 10 minutes.

If the lid still springs back, refrigerate the jam since you will not have a proper seal.  Sealed jars stored, unopened in a cool, dry, dark place for 1 year. 

Peach~Mango Jam

6 large Peaches
4 Mangos
You need 4 cups finely chopped fruit, so adjust amounts to equal.
5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 T lemon juice
1 pkg. powdered Fruit~Jell pectin
1/2 tsp. butter
7-8 8oz. jars

Prepare jars as above.

Peel, pit and finely chop the peaches and the mangos.  Place the fruit in a Dutch Oven along with the pectin and butter.  Bring to a boil, as above.  When you have a rolling boil, add the sugar, all at once, stirring to combine.  

Bring to a boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.  Ladle quickly into jars and seal as above, turning over jars for 10-15 minutes to seal.  Makes 7-8 jars of jam.

Berry~Berry Jam

5 cups of crushed berries ( I used blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry, but you could also add strawberry or substitute for the blueberry)
7 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. butter
1 pkg. powdered Fruit~Jell pectin

8-10 8 oz. jars

Prepare jars as above.

Wash and crush fruit in the food processor. (If using strawberries, stem before crushing.)  You should have about 5 cups of berries.  Place in the Dutch Oven along with the powdered pectin and butter.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly over Med/High heat. 

Add the sugar, all at once, and combine.  Bring to a rolling boil, then, set timer for 1 minute and continue to stir constantly.   Ladle quickly into prepared jars and seal.  Turn upside down for 10-15 minutes.  Turn right side up and check for seal.  Refrigerate any unsealed jars.

Let the sealed jars stand for 24 hours to set completely.  Enjoy! 


  1. Sister Dear, you are amazing and I'm so envious of your ease at doing EVERYTHING!! I made plum jam once back in 1975 and it looked like a bomb had gone off in the kitchen! Thank goodness you always make enough to send me a wonderful supply and variety! Love & Hugs, Barb

  2. I agree with Barbara, you are amazing Susan and you do everything with such ease! I can say firsthand that I am thrilled with your jam making!! You make the best, it is so fun to see your process here! xoxo Love you!

  3. Thanks for not commenting on my obvious problem of turning "anything" into jam! I'm lucky to have family and friends to send it to or I'd really have to put a wing on the house just for jam!! xoxo