jam recipe

Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam

I found blackberries at a great price recently and decided to turn some of them into blackberry jam. I am so happy that I did. The jam gave me a taste of summer in the middle of winter. It also filled the house with wonderful aromas and warmed up the kitchen.

I will definitely be making more again when local berries are in season.

Blackberry Jam

6 cups crushed blackberries- from about 3 quarts of fresh berries

1 box powdered pectin- or 6 tablespoons if you buy in bulk

8½ cups sugar

¼ c. lemon juice

Wash jars and prepare lids according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place canner on stove, add water and bring to a simmer while you make the jam. Wash berries and crush. Place the prepared berries and pectin in a pot and bring to a full boil, stirring often. Once the mixture comes to a full boil, stir and boil it a full minute. Add the sugar and lemon juice and return to the boil. Boil a full minute, stirring continuously. Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of the jars and place on the lid. Screw the lid on fingertip tight. Place jars of jam in the canner and bring the water to a boil. Process 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let jars stand in the canner another 5-10 minutes before removing to a towel or cooling rack. Alllow to completely cool before checking if all the jars have sealed.    

Makes 10-11 half pint jars.    

Note: You can add flavors to the jam, if you like. I didn’t this time, but vanilla or cinnamon might be nice or perhaps some mint flavoring.

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Once you taste homemade jam, you will understand why it is worth the effort to make your own. Homemade jams, preserves and jellies are a great way to save seasonal fruits to enjoy all year. They also make nice gifts.

One of my favorite homemade jams is strawberry. I like the addition of a little vanilla to my strawberry jam. I think it adds an additional layer of flavor, without covering up the natural beauty of the berries. Of course, you can omit the vanilla, if you prefer.

I try to make enough to last all year, but I end up running out quickly. This jam is great on toast, but also a nice addition to several desserts I make.

With local berries in season now, it is a perfect time to make a batch, or two.

In grocery stores, berries are often sold in one pound packages, not in quarts. A quart of strawberries should weigh 1 1/4 pounds. That should help you figure out how many berries you will need.

Here is the recipe.

Strawberry-Vanilla Jam

2 qts. strawberries, stemmed, washed and crushed (2 1/2 lbs.)

2 T. pure vanilla

1 package powdered pectin, (1.75 oz.)

1/4 c. lemon juice

7 cups sugar

Combine  berries, vanilla, pectin and lemon juice in large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.  Add sugar and turn heat up to high. Stir often until mixture comes to a boil. Boil hard one minute stirring constantly. Ladle hot jam in to jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims and screw on lids comfortably tight. Place in boiling water bath and process 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack, towel or wooden surface to cool. Makes 8-9 half pints.

Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Blueberry Vanilla Jam

Blueberry Vanilla Jam

I make a lot of jams, jellies and preserves in the summer when berries are abundant. I also freeze berries and other fruits. That way I can enjoy them throughout the year. I really had a taste for some homemade blueberry jam. Since I was out I decided to use some of the blueberries I had frozen from last summer. I used the basic berry jam recipe from the Ball Blue Book, but I added some vanilla and a little lemon juice for extra flavor. How nice to have a reminder of summer days as winter comes to a close.


Blueberry Vanilla Jam

9 c. crushed fruit

6 c. sugar

1/4 c. lemon juice

1 T. vanilla

Pick over berries getting any stems. Rinse , drain and crush. Place berries, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a large saucepan and heat slowly until sugar has melted. Bring up heat and cook over high heat, stirring often. Stir more as mixture thickens. It will take 20-30 minutes to get to the gel stage. To check for gel stage dip a metal spoon in blueberry mixture and hold it up sideways. Allow mixture to drip off and when two drops come together to form one larger drop- you are at gel stage. You can also use a candy thermometer. When the jam reaches 220 degrees- or 8 degrees over the temp of boiling water- you are at gel stage. Ladle hot jam into clean, hot jelly jars. Fill to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe rims and place on lids prepared according to directions on box. Screw lids comfortably tight. Place jars in boiling water bath with water at least 1-2 inches over the tops of the jars. Cover pot and start timing when water returns to the boil. Process 15 minutes. Remove jars to towel, cutting board or cooling rack in a draft-free location. Check seals once jars are cooled. Makes 8-10 jelly jars.

Source: Adapted from Ball Blue Book

Cherry Vanilla Jam

Cherry Vanilla Jam

Cherry Vanilla Jam

I have some frozen cherries I got from King Orchards. They are neighbors of my sister in Central Lake, Michigan. I wanted to use some of them for cherry vanilla jam which is one of my all time favorites.


Cherry Vanilla Jam

4 1/2 c. chopped pitted sour cherries including any juice

2 T. lemon juice

2 T. pure vanilla extract

1 box powdered pectin

5 1/4 c. sugar

Wash jelly jars and lids  and keep warm until ready to use. Place a large pot of water, with a rack, on to boil for the water bath. In large saucepan combine cherries with lemon juice, vanilla and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Add the sugar and bring mixture back to a rolling boil, stirring often. Once the mixture gets to a full, rolling boil,  constantly stir for one minute longer. Remove jam from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, filling to about 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe off rim and screw on the lids. Repeat with remaining jam. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow jars to cool.  Yield: about 7  half pint jars of jam.






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