Growing up my grandma always had homemade jam at her house. It was sugary and sweet and just…..perfect. I always thought of her as a domestic goddess of sorts and thought I would never be making my own jam and would have to resign myself to mediocre store-bought jam.
And then I grew up and she told me how to make it. To say that I was SHOCKED would be a great understatement indeed. Do you want to know how my granny makes the tastiest and EASIEST strawberry and raspberry jam ever?! Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised, and be prepared to deal with the amazement of your friends and family when you make it yourself and they start thinking of YOU as a domestic goddess as well!
So what is the secret? Pectin. A specific brand of pectin, to be exact. Sure-Jell pectin. (This is NOT a sponsored post, by the way!! Just me sharing with you a family jam recipe.) My grandma says that the Sure-Jell MCP pectin is the ultimate best, but we have a tough time finding it in Colorado for some reason, so I use the traditional Sure-Jell pectin IN THE YELLOW BOX. They taste the same to me, but I do trust my granny’s tastebuds over my own on this matter.
Once you get your hot little hands on the YELLOW box of Sure-Jell pectin all you have to do it follow the Quick & Easy Freezer Jam recipe. NOT the cooked recipe! Simplify your life!! Let me walk you through it. I am not including exact measurements, because they are all included on the instructions in the box, and they are different for each type of fruit.
Gather your pectin, fruit, sugar, and jam jars. Yes, that is it! I used strawberries. Strawberry jam is my favorite!
Cut the tops off of your strawberries and throw them into a food processor.
Pulse the food processor to mash up the strawberries. Do not puree completely! You can also do this with a potato masher. Granny does, but I am lazy.
Measure your fruit mush (the fancy technical term, obviously) to make sure it is the correct amount. Be exact with ALL of your measurements! Pour it into a large bowl and add the sugar. It is a LOT of sugar. Prepare yourself. But that is what makes it oh-so-GOOD!
Stir the sugar and fruit mush together very thoroughly. Let sit for about ten minutes.
While the fruit and sugar are stewing, follow the directions to prep the pectin on the stove. You will combine the pectin with a small amount of water and stir it constantly over heat until it is dissolved. It starts rather clumpy, as you can see.
Stir the pectin mixture into the fruit and sugar mixture. Stir until it is no longer grainy. Now you are done! Seriously. Crazy, right?!
Time to pour! Use a funnel or a bowl with a spout to pour the jam into jars. Leave a bit of space at the top for sealing purposes. This part is a lot easier if you have someone to help you with an extra set of hands. I also think it would be easier if you had a bowl with a spout right on it. I’m going to buy one prior to my jam-making day next year! As you can see, we made a wee bit of a mess….. Maybe I won’t try to quadruple my recipe all at once next time! Sheesh!
Close your jars and let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set. After 24 hours place jam in the fridge or freezer. I freeze all but one of my jars and use them all year long!
YUM!!! So easy, and totally worth the bit of extra effort to have homemade jam on hand! Right now it it strawberry season, which is the perfect time to get jam making!
- Sure-Jell Pectin (YELLOW BOX)
- Follow the instructions in the box for exact measurements!! They go something like this:
- Mash the fruit with a potato masher or by pulsing in a food processor.
- Measure the fruit and sugar amounts exactly and stir together. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Dissolve pectin in water over heat.
- Pour the pectin mixture into the fruit mixture. Stir until it is no longer grainy.
- Pour into jars. Leave some space free at the top of each jar.
- Let jam sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set.
- After 24 hours place jam in the refrigerator or freezer.