It’s wonderful way to preserve your favorite fruit at peak flavor and put it by for winter
Pretty much any fruit tastes good in jam. The possibilities are endless. Look for stone fruit like cherries, peaches, plums and nectarines, berries in season, and apples. Fresh herbs like basil, lavender, mint and rosemary can take your jam to new heights flavor-wise.
Sealed jars of jam will keep in the pantry for up to a year. Otherwise, store homemade jam in the refrigerator and use within three to four weeks. You can also freeze it for six months or more
Jam is simply a combination of fruit and sugar with a little lemon juice to help it gel. All fruit naturally contains pectin, which thickens the concoction. (Jelly, on the other hand, is fruit that that is cooked, strained into juice and then thickened with commercial pectin.) Keep in mind that some fruit has more pectin than others.
Combine fruit(s), lemon juice and sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan. Simmer, keeping a close eye and stirring frequently, until the mixture registers 220 F on a candy thermometer. Pour the jam into glass jars and chill until ready to serve.
To preserve jam longer, seal the jars in a boiling water bath. You will need a pot roomy enough to hold your jars with space to spare, canning tongs to prevent burns, lid magnets to retrieve any lids that sink to the bottom of the pot and canning jars and lids. Here’s the five-step process: