How to Make Jam

How to Make Jam

Over the years, I have made thousands of jars of jam and jelly. I’ve also made more than a few batches of berry syrup. That’s what I call jam that didn’t set up. I label it as pancake or waffle syrup. Sometimes I label it ice-cream topping.

Years ago, I bought the little boxes of fruit pectin. Sure-Jell and Ball realfruit pectin are a couple of brands. The procedure is the same if you make a small or large batch of jam. 

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jam pectin

What Kind Of Pectin Do I Use For Jam?

Years ago, I bought the little boxes of fruit pectin. Sure-Jell and Ball realfruit pectin are a couple of brands. The procedure is the same if you make a small or large batch of jam. Each box made about 6 to 9 jars of jam, depending on the fruit I used.  The last time I checked the price on a box of Sure-Jell, it was about $5.00 for one ounce of pectin.   I use the equivalent of 50 boxes of Sure-Jell pectin a year.   

Where Can I Buy Pectin In Bulk?

I needed to find a bulk supply of fruit pectin fast. After an internet search of suppliers of bulk fruit pectin, I decided to give Nuts.com a try. I loved it, and now I order the one-pound bags which currently cost $6.99 plus $5.99 for shipping, or 81 cents an ounce. I order ten bags at a time and get free shipping. That’s 44 cents an ounce! They also offer a 25 lb case at 27 cents an ounce with free shipping. If you make more than 12 jars of jam, go with a bulk purchase of fruit pectin. I am sure there are other suppliers than Nuts.com. However, I have found this to be a reliable and excellent source of fruit pectin for my jam. 

Small or Large Batch of Jam for All Berries except Blueberries

 Fruit in
cups*
Lemon juice **  Sugar***
in cups
 Sugar*** in Lbs.Pectin*** in cups  Pectin***
ounces
 Pectin*** gramsYield 1/2 pints 
 5 2 TBS 7 3lb 1oz 1/4 1.4 40 9
 10 4 14 6lb 2oz 1/2 2.8 80 18
 15 6 21 9lb3oz 3/4 4.2 120 27
 25 10 35 15lb5oz 1 1/4 7.0 200 36
 30 12 4218lb6oz 1 1/2 8.4240  45
 35 14 29 21lb7oz 1 3/4 9.8 280 54
 40 16 56 24lb8oz    2 11.2 320 63
 45 18 63 27lb9oz 2 1/4 12.6 360 72

NOTES:

* Crush berries before measuring the amount called for in the above recipe.

**Use bottled not fresh lemon juice.  

***For the sugar and the pectin, pick the unit you are most comfortable with.  For the sugar use either the cups or the lbs. measurement but NOT BOTH together.  For the pectin use either the cups, ounces, or grams but NOT ALL THREE together.

Small or Large Batch of Jam for Blueberries

 Lemon*
Juice Tbs.
 Fruit** cupsSugar
cups*** 
 Sugar
lbs.***
 Pectin
cups***
Pectin ounces***  Pectin grams*** Yield 1/2pints
    1 4  3   1lb 5oz 1/4 1.4 40 6
    2 8 6 2lb10oz 1/2 2.8 80 12
    3 12 9 4lbs 3/4 4.2 120 18
    4 16 12 5lb 5oz 1cup 5.6 160 24
    5 20 15 6lb10oz 1 1/4 . 7.0 200 30
    6 24 18 7lb15oz 1 1/2  8.4 240 36
    7 2821  9lb4oz 1 3/4  9.8 280 42
    832  24 10lb9oz 2 11.2 32048 
    936  27 11lb14oz 2 1/4  12.6 36054 

NOTES

*Crush the berries before measuring the amount called for in the above recipe. 

**Use bottled lemon juice, not fresh.

***For the sugar and the pectin, pick the unit you are most comfortable with.  For the sugar use either the cups or the lbs. measurement but NOT BOTH together.  For the pectin use either the cups, ounces, or grams but NOT ALL THREE together.

Small or Large Batch of Jam for Peaches, Stone Fruit, and Tropical Fruit

 Fruit*
cups
 Lemon Juice**Sugar
cups***
 Sugar
lbs ***
 Pectin
cups ***
 Pectin 
oz, ***
Pectin
grms***
 Yield 
1/2 pints
 4 2 5 2lbs 3oz 1/4 1.4 40 7
 8 4 10 4lbs6oz 1/2 2.880  14
 12 6 15 6lbs9oz 3/4 4.2 120 21
 168 20 8lbs12oz 1 5.6 160 28
 20 10 25 10lbs15oz 1 1/4 7.0 200 35
 24 12 30 13lbs2oz 1 1/2 8.4 240 42
 28 14 35 15lbs5oz 1 3/4 9.8 280 49
 32 16 40 17lbs8oz 2 11.2 320 56
 36 18 45 19lbs11oz 2 1/4 12.6 360 63

NOTES:

* Crush fruit before measuring the amount called for in the above recipe.

**Use bottled lemon juice, not fresh

***For the sugar and the pectin, pick the unit you are most comfortable with.  For the sugar use either the cups or the lbs. measurement but NOT BOTH together.  For the pectin use either the cups, ounces, or grams but NOT ALL THREE together.

strawberry jam in large kettle

How to calculate if your kettle is large enough: 

It is essential to make sure you have a kettle large enough for the amount of jam you are making. If the kettle is too small, the jam will boil over during the second boil and make a BIG MESS!!! The maximum cups of fruit you put into the pot should not exceed the size of the kettle in quarts. For example, if you have 4 cups of crushed fruit, you need a 4- quart kettle. Twenty cups of crushed fruit need a 20-quart kettle.

strawberry jam ingredients

The procedure is the same if you make a small or large batch of jam.  

Rx for a small or large batch of jam:

1. Add the crushed berries to a large kettle. The pot shouldn’t be more than 1/2 full. 

2. Add the lemon juice to the crushed berries. The lemon juice helps the jam jell and add acidity to lower the ph and prevent the growth of bacteria.

3. Add the Fruit Pectin to the berries and stir well.

4. Optional: a tbsp. of butter or oil helps break up the surface tension of the jam and minimizes the foam you will have to skim and discard before you fill the jars. 

5. Stir constantly to prevent scorching and bring to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil for 1 minute. Boiling gives lots of bubbles on the top of the jam. A rolling boil that can’t be stirred down means you can’t make the bubbles go away by vigorous stirring. Boil for 1 minute.

6. Add the sugar all at once and stir in. Stir constantly to bring to a second rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil a full minute again.  

7. Remove from the heat. Skim off any foam and discard. Fill the jam jars. Be sure to leave about 1/2 inch of space between the top of the jam and the lid. Put the lid on and screw a ring on tightly.

8. Put the jars in a water bath canner. Cover the jars with water and bring to a boil. Boil the jars for 15 minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let them cool completely.

9. Once the jars have cooled, test the lids to make sure the jars sealed. Test for a seal by pressing down in the center of the lid with your finger. If the top springs back up when you release your finger, the jar isn’t sealed. If the jar doesn’t seal, take off the lid and check the jar rim for damage. If the jar is damaged, discard the jar. If the jar isn’t damaged, discard the lid and put a new lid on the jar. Reheat the jar in the water batch. 

10. For more detailed instruction on how to make jam, hop over to my blog on Strawberry Jam. (click here)

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