I feel like this is a 2-for-1 post, making a batch of jam and canning it, both are things I’m doing on my own for the first time. I made a small batch of raspberry jam and canned it using the water bath method so I can store the extra jars in the pantry.
I’m not a stranger to the canning process. I’ve only helped with steps here and there but never had responsibility for the whole process. Making the jam seems easy enough, just need to get the ratios right (this is what I’m telling myself). I understand the concepts behind the different methods of canning with and without a water bath. As I said, I’ve helped but never done it all on my own and that’s about to change. What better time to become self-sufficient in an essential apocalypse skill than 2020?
Below are the ingredient measurements I ended up with. I will probably reduce the sugar next time since like my raspberry jams a little more on the tart side.
31/2-4 C. Raspberries, smashed
11/2 C. Sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 T. Pectin
I combined all the ingredients into a pot and cooked over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring frequently. While waiting for the jam to cook, I set up a water bath to warm the jars up to avoid breaking when filling with the hot jam. I also set up a pot to warm the jar lids. Talk about a busy stove!
The next steps happened in rather quick succession: removing the empty jars from the water bath, filling the jars using a funnel making sure not to overfill the jars, wiping the rims to remove an food to make sure the seal is good, placing lids and rings on the jars and placing them back into the water bath. Once in the water bath bring the water up to a rolling boil and process the jars for about 5-10 minutes.
Turn off the burner and let the jars sit in the water for another 5 minutes before removing and placing on the counter. Now comes the fun part! Waiting for the jars to seal and hear “ping!” as they do. Allow the jars to cool for 12-24 hours and then store.
Did it work? I’d say yes! All the jars sealed within about 15-20 minutes after removing them from the water bath. While the jam didn’t completely set, it did set.
I noticed that it did become thicker during the 12-24 hour “wait time”. The flavor is good. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste as sweet as when it was cooking, though I’d probably still lower the sugar in the next batch. I guess the point of all this is if you’ve been hesitant to try something because you don’t know how or have never done it start to finish, do it anyway. You may find a new hobby that you didn’t realize you enjoyed or like me, have something tasty to savor later.