Confused About Jam

by moderndomestic on August 20, 2009

Jam Making - Peach Jam

Jam. So mysterious.

I’m confused about jam.

I’m confused about how you cook it – if you’re supposed to let it come to a boil for a couple minutes, or if you’re supposed to cook it for longer.

I’m confused about how much the jam should jell before you let it cool.

I’m confused about whether or not it actually has to come to 220 degrees before it will jell.

I’m confused about the difference between freezer jam pectin and regular pectin.

Jam Making - Peach and Blackberry Jam

Jam. So curious.

I’m confused as to why I thought I could use freezer jam pectin for my cooked blackberry jam.

I’m confused about the sterilized jars – can you touch them with your bare hands after they’re sterilized, or if that will somehow make them un-sterile?

I’m confused about how boiling the jars creates a vacuum.

I’m confused about the boiling water – can you sterilize the canning jars in the same boiling water as you use to seal the jars, or do you need a fresh pot?

I’m confused about when the tops of the jars should pop.

I’m confused as to why this entire process had to take five hours for each batch.

I’m confused about why it took me two weeks before I finally cleaned all the sticky jam byproduct off my stove.

I’m confused about why my peach ginger jam doesn’t taste gingery enough.

The only thing I am sure about is that the jam tastes delicious. It tastes like real fruit.

Jam Making - Jam and Toast

Jam. So delicious.

But, given my confusion, I’m leaving you in better hands than my own:

For all things canning and jam-related:

To learn about canning, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
For an honest blueberry jam recipe, see The Arugula Files
For a freezer jam recipe, see The Bitten Word
For a delicious-looking stone fruit and ginger jam recipe, see The Kitchn.
For a blackberry bay-leaf jam recipe, see Martha Stewart.

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