I can't tell you how many people has asked for my jam recipes. Usually it happens after someone has tried some and fallen in love with it. I must admit, I LOVE all the ooohhs and yummmms I hear when people taste my jam. It makes me so happy.
There really is nothing special to my recipe for any Jam. I (basically) follow the Sure-Jell Low-Sugar recipe (contained in the box of Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin), with a few modifications. All of the "processing" directions I follow pretty closely. It's the ingredients that are altered.
So.. for example, Strawberry. My personal favorite.
The recipe says -
6 cups of crushed strawberries
4 cups of sugar
I make my jam with -
9 cups of (mostly) crushed strawberries (I use a potato masher to bust up the berries, leaving some almost whole and others pulp)
~ 3 cups of sugar (I scoop out four "almost" cups... I measured with my most recent batch and my cups are more like 3/4 cups)
I use butter with the fruit - about 1/2 Tbsp.
I don't skim off any foam (tho usually, I don't get much, if any) before ladling the mixture into jars
That's it! Those are the only differences. No magic, or ancient family secrets.
However... there are a few things I've learned over the years that help make REALLY YUMMY jam -
- Fresh fruit. I try (tho it doesn't always happen) to make jam from perfectly ripe fruit. My strawberries were processed within 24-hours of being picked. I use "seconds" for nectarine/plum/apricot because I don't care what they look like, I just want tasty fruit. (I also try to only use locally-grown fruits. Nothing from the supermarket, just farm-fresh fruits.)
- Let your "rolling boils" roll... give them a little time to build. Don't rush to add the remaining sugar or hit the 1-minute timer. I've found that it's really hard to overcook jam.
- Don't worry about EXACT amounts of fruit or sugar.
- I use the "inversion method" to seal the jars. After filling and screwing on the lid/rings on the jars, turn the jar upside down and let sit for 5-7 minutes. Once that's done, flip them back to their upright position and let them sit for the next 24-hours. Listen for the "pop" and cheer when you hear it - your jar is sealed!
Hope this helps. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about jam-making. I'm no expert, but I've been doing it for a while and may be able to assist.