My friend, Heidi, from church loves to make jam, and she's really good at it, too. This past Thursday after Bible Study, she was gracious enough to teach me how to make homemade strawberry cooked and freezer jam. I swore I'd never attempt jam-making again after my epic apple jelly fail last summer, but that was before someone was willing to walk me thru the process step-by-step. Heidi made it look so easy!
Instead of giving step-by-step instructions here (Thorough directions can be found on the Sure Jell package), I am going to list a few of Heidi's tips for successful jam making.
1. First of all, Heidi uses 100% Natural Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin for her homemade jam.
2. Use a potato masher to crush fruit.
3. Measure exactly all ingredients according to package instructions.
4. Use suggested butter to cut down on foam.
5. After boiling, skim as much foam off the top of the jam as possible.
6. Use new metal lids for cooked jam.
7. It's helpful to have a second pair of hands the first time you make jam.
8. Basically, just follow the step-by-step directions on the Sure Jell package.
Thank you, Heidi, for showing me how to do this and for sending me home with all kinds of yummy jam! I can't wait to make my first batch, maybe peach jam with my mom's homegrown peaches? I hope it turns out as yummy as Heidi's!
Oh, and just so you know, cooked and freezer do taste a bit different. I love the texture of the cooked, but the freezer is a little more sweet and fresh tasting. Freezer jam is easier to make, too. Heidi doesn't recommend using peaches for freezer jam, though, as it doesn't set very well.
I still need to purchase a few canning items, like the potato masher, jars, that metal thing you put in the pan, the canning tongs, and the canning funnel. Heidi says Wal-Mart sells them inexpensively, so I will try there first.
What are some of your homemade jam tips? And what is your favorite kind?