As a part of my holiday gifts, I made homemade jam! After purchasing a beginner canning kit and reading the directions thoroughly, I felt very confident in my canning abilities.
Canning is very specific when it comes to the materials you need. This is very important because failure to use the proper tools and methods could result in safety and health hazards.
I found this recipe on bhg.com. I did make some minor alterations to the recipe, but not many. I cut raspberries from 8 cups to 6 cups because for my little jars it just seemed to be too much. I also cut the sugar down from 7 cups to 2 cups. Lastly, I increased the ginger from 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp; which I still don’t believe was enough. Regardless of my minor alterations, I still had left over jam, and not enough jars, so I did end up throwing some away.
Here are a few very important steps to follow before canning. PERIOD.
- Before starting the canning process, look over the recipe and make sure you have all of the necessary tools needed.
- Wash jars and lids with hot sudsy water. When you make jams or anything that is processed for less than 10 minutes, it is suggested to sterilize your jars by submerging them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Fill your water bath with water, and place jars in the bath. Begin heating the jars, just to keep warm. Do the same for the lids in a separate sauce pan. It is important to keep the jars and lids warm before adding the hot liquid to prevent cracking. Screw bands can just be cleaned and left aside.
- Prepare food according to the recipe. Try to work quickly, and keep your work area clean.
- Place hot jars on a kitchen towel.
- Using the funnel, fill jars with boiling hot liquid. Be sure to leave enough head space (space between top of the jar and the food). Leaving the recommended head space will help promote the sealing process. Recipes will tell you how much head space is recommended.
- Using the bubble remover, or a non-metallic utensil, gently press the against the sides of the jar. Add additional liquid if you need to maintain the recommended head space.
- Wipe the jar rims with a clean damp cloth. Leaving food or liquid on the rim will prevent a solid seal.
- Position the lid and screw band, tighten according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but usually fingertip tight.
- Set jars back to the water bath; jars should not touch.
- Cover bath, and bring to a rolling boil. Usually recipes suggest to start time of process once the boiling has begun.
- Remove the jars carefully using the jar lifter, and set on a kitchen towel. Space jars out about an inch away from one another.
- After jars have completely cooled (about 12-24 hours), press the center of each lid to check the seal. If a dip in the lid holds, the jar is sealed. If the dip pops up and down when pressed, the jar is NOT sealed. Unsealed jars can be refrigerated.
- 6 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1- 1⅓ oz package regular powdered fruit pectin
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- In a blender, pulse raspberries until they are broken into small pieces, 1-2 cups at a time
- Pour crushed raspberries into a larger heavy pot/sauce pan
- Once all raspberries are added to the pot, stir in the pectin powder and bring to a full rolling boil
- Stirring constantly, pour all sugar and ginger in at once, bring back to a full rolling boil, continuing to stir constantly
- Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly
- Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon
- Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized 4 oz. canning jars, using the funnel, leaving a ¼-inch headspace Wipe jar rims; adjust lids
- Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when the water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire rack or towels
When jars are sealed properly, they can be kept in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
If you want to try something new and crafty for your holiday gift-giving this year, I highly recommend investing in a canning kit, and get jamming!
Recipe adapted from bhg.com/recipe/raspberry-jam
If you want/need further instruction or a better visual for how to can properly, check out this video. It’s a great how-to for first time canners and helped me better understand the process.