Jelly & Jam Recipes

Homemade jams and jellies make great gifts!This information has been reviewed and adapted for use in South Carolina by P.H. Schmutz, HGIC Information Specialist, and E.H. Hoyle, Extension Food Safety Specialist, Clemson University. (New 08/99. Revised 08/05.)

HGIC 3200

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General Directions

Prepare only one recipe at a time because double batches may not gel properly. Use half-pint jars to avoid a weak gel that may result with larger jars due to residual heat during cooling.

Preparation: Wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse. Sterilize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, then keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when filled with the hot product. NOTE: If unsterilized jars are used, the product should be processed for 10 minutes. However, since this additional 5 minutes of processing can result in a weak gel, it’s best to use sterilized jars.

Wash and rinse all canning lids and bands. Treat the lids as directed by the manufacturers. Lids can be used only once.

Processing: All jellied products must be processed in a boiling water bath to prevent mold growth. To process jellied products, pour the boiling product into a hot, sterilized canning jar, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rim, and close with a treated canning lid and screw band. Place on a rack in a canner filled with boiling water. The water should cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Cover the canner. Bring the water back to a boil and boil gently for 5 minutes. NOTE: If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of altitude. Then remove the jars to a protected surface and cool away from drafts.

Storage: It is essential that jellied products, especially jelly, be allowed to sit undisturbed for 12 hours after they are made. Moving them could break the gel. After the jellied products have cooled for 12 hours, check the seal, remove the screw band, label and store in a cool, dry, dark place. The shorter the storage time, the better the product. Though most jellied products should keep for a least a year, their flavor and quality begin to decrease within a few months.

Jellies With Pectin: Jellies made with powdered or liquid pectin are prepared differently from those made without added pectin. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.

For more information on making jelly, request HGIC 3180, Basics of Jelly Making.

Grape-Plum Jelly

3½ pounds ripe plums
3 pounds ripe concord grapes
1 cup water
½ teaspoon butter or margarine (optional to reduce foaming)
8½ cups sugar
1 box (1¾ ounces) powdered pectin

Wash and pit plums; do not peel. Thoroughly crush the plums and grapes, one layer at a time, in a saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Strain juice through a jelly bag or double layer of cheesecloth. Measure sugar and set aside. Combine 6½ cups of juice with butter and pectin in large saucepan. Bring to a hard boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam and fill hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: About 10 half-pint jars

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jelly

1½ pounds red stalks of rhubarb
1½ quarts ripe strawberries
½ teaspoon butter or margarine (optional to reduce foaming)
6 cups sugar
6 ounces liquid pectin

Wash and cut rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and blend or grind. Wash, stem and crush strawberries, one layer at a time, in a saucepan. Place both fruits in a jelly bag or double layer of cheesecloth and gently squeeze out juice. Measure 3½ cups of juice into a large saucepan. Add butter and sugar, thoroughly mixing into juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam and fill hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: About 7 half-pint jars

Peach Jelly With Powdered Pectin

3 cups peach juice (about 3½ pounds peaches and ½ cup water)
5 cups sugar
½ cup bottled lemon juice
l box powdered pectin

To Prepare Juice: Wash and slice or chop fully-ripe peaches. Do not pit or peel. Crush fruit. Place crushed fruit and ½ cup water in saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Extract juice.

To Make Jelly: Measure sugar and set aside. Measure prepared juice, powdered pectin and lemon juice into a large saucepot. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. At once, stir in sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam. Pour jelly immediately into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: About 5 or 6 half-pint jars

Pepper Jelly With Liquid Pectin

4 or 5 hot peppers, cored and cut into pieces
4 sweet green peppers, cored and cut into pieces
1 cup white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
5 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
Green food coloring

Note: Be sure to wear clean rubber gloves when working with hot peppers.

Put half the peppers and half the vinegar into blender container. Cover and process at liquefy until peppers are liquefied. Repeat with remaining peppers and vinegar. Combine liquefied peppers, vinegar and sugar in a large saucepot and boil slowly for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 minute. Skim and add a few drops of green food coloring. Pour hot jam immediately into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: About 5 half-pint jars

Damson Plum Jam

5 cups coarsely chopped damson plums (about 2 pounds)
3 cups sugar
¾ cup water

Combine all ingredients; bring slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to, or almost to, jellying point. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot jam immediately into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: About 6 half-pint jars

Strawberry Jam

2 quarts crushed strawberries
6 cups sugar

Combine berries and sugar; bring slowly to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, about 40 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot jam immediately into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: 8 half-pint jars

Berry Jams

(Blackberry, Blueberry, Boysenberry, Dewberry, Gooseberry, Loganberry, Raspberry)

9 cups crushed berries
6 cups sugar

Combine berries and sugar. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to, or almost to, jellying point depending upon whether a firm or soft jam is desired. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot jam immediately into sterile, hot canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath. Note: For seedless jams, crush berries and heat until soft. Press through a sieve, then add sugar.

Yield: 7 or 8 half-pint jars

Blueberry-Spice Jam

2½ pints ripe blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon
5½ cups sugar
¾ cup water
1 box (1¾ ounces) powdered pectin

Wash and thoroughly crush blueberries, one layer at a time, in a saucepan. Add lemon juice, spice and water. Stir in pectin and bring to a full, rolling boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add the sugar and return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam and fill hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: About 5 half-pint jars

Pear-Apple Jam

2 cups peeled, cored and finely chopped pears
1 cup peeled, cored and finely chopped apples
6½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅓ cup bottled lemon juice
6 ounces liquid pectin

Crush apples and pears in a large saucepan and stir in cinnamon. Thoroughly mix sugar and lemon juice with fruits and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam and fill hot, sterile jars leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: About 7 to 8 half-pint jars

Spiced Tomato Jam With Powdered Pectin

3 cups prepared tomatoes (about 2¼ pounds)
1½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
4½ cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin
¼ cup bottled lemon juice

To Prepare Fruit: Wash firm-ripe tomatoes. Scald, peel and chop tomatoes. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Measure 3 cups tomatoes into a saucepot. Add lemon rind, allspice, cinnamon and cloves.

To Make Jelly: Place prepared fruit into a saucepot. Add lemon juice. Measure sugar and set aside. Stir powdered pectin into prepared fruit. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. At once, stir in sugar. Stir and bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Then boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Pour hot jam immediately into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: About 5 half-pint jars

Pear Marmalade

Ingredients:
2 pounds pears
4½ cups sugar
1 cup water
2 oranges (optional)

Procedure: Wash and cut pears into small strips or pieces. Peel and cut up the oranges, discarding seeds and membranes, using one-half the peel chopped into small pieces. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot. Cook rapidly until thick and transparent, stirring frequently as it thickens. Pour hot marmalade immediately into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: About 2 half-pint jars

Watermelon Rind Preserves

1½ quarts prepared watermelon rind
4 tablespoons salt
2 quarts cold water
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
¼ cup bottled lemon juice
1 lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
7 cups water

To Prepare Watermelon Rind: Trim green skin and pink flesh from thick watermelon rind; cut into 1-inch pieces. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts water and pour over rind; let stand 5 to 6 hours. Drain; rinse and drain again. Cover with cold water and let stand 30 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle ginger over rind; cover with water and cook until fork-tender. Drain.

To Make Preserves: Combine sugar, lemon juice and 7 cups water. Boil 5 minutes; add rind and boil gently for 30 minutes. Add sliced lemon and cook until the melon rind is clear. Pour hot preserves immediately into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

Fig Preserves

3 quarts figs
3 quarts boiling water
4 cups sugar
1½ quarts water
2 lemons, thinly sliced (optional)

Pour boiling water over figs. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain. Rinse figs in cold water. Prepare syrup by mixing sugar, 1½ quarts water and lemon. Boil rapidly 10 minutes. Skim syrup; remove and discard lemon slices. Drop figs into syrup a few at a time. Cook rapidly until figs are transparent. Remove figs and place in shallow pan. Boil syrup until thick, pour over figs and let stand 6 to 8 hours. Reheat figs and syrup to boiling. Pour hot preserves into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: About 10 half-pint jars

Jams With Artificial Sweeteners

Jellied products without sugar or with reduced sugar cannot be made by leaving the sugar out of regular jelly recipes. Sugar acts as a preservative as well as a sweetener, so recipe instructions for processing and storing jams without sugar must be followed exactly.

Jams and jellies made with Splenda® granular must use a low-methoxyl pectin with calcium added (such as Ball Fruit Jell® No Sugar Needed Pectin, Sure-Jell for Lower Sugar Recipes Fruit Pectin, Mrs. Wages Light Home Jell® or Pomona’s Universal Pectin). Regular pectin and even some no-sugar needed pectin will not gel with Splenda® granular. Read pectin manufacturer’s instructions before making jam.

Check out the following web sites for information on making jams without sugar.
www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can7_jam_jelly.html
www.splenda.com or call 1-800-7-SPLENDA
www.equal.com or call 1-800-323-5316
www.sweetnlow.com

Information on pectin for making sugar-free or low sugar jellied products can be found at these sites:
www.homecanning.com
www.kraftfoods.com/surejell/
www.mrswages.com
www.pomonapectin.com

Sources:

  1. Susan Reynolds. So Easy to Preserve, Bulletin 989. Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Georgia. Fourth Edition revised by Elizabeth Andress and Judy Harrison, 1999.
  2. USDA. Complete Guide to Home Canning. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539. Reviewed 1994.

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