Jam making isn’t hard, if anything, it is one of the simplest ways to learn how to can! And…if you use pre-bought pectin it is even easier. Be sure to read the boxes/containers of pectin, some types have preservatives added (usually liquid pectin). Sure Jell and MCP brands are both sold on the West Coast and are preservative free. I had found a box of Sure Jell I had bought last year, stuck in the back when we redid the pantry, and a flat of blueberries waiting for me. When you think about it, it isn’t a lot of work to have 8 jars of jam, that will see you through winter.
- 4 cups crushed blueberries (measure AFTER crushing, you will need about 8 cups whole berries)
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 package dry pectin
Wash 8 half-pint jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and keep covered.
Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil.
Following directions on pectin insert, measure and put berries in a large pot, stir in the entire package of pectin. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat (a boil that doesn’t stop when stirring). Stir in sugar quickly, return to a full rolling boil, cook for 1 minute after it returns to the boil. Take off the heat.
Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Ladle the hot jam into the bars, using a sterilized canning funnel. Leave a 1/8″ head space.
Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.
Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.
Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.
Want to see a pectin box insert that will walk you through canning jam?
As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!) If you are using a different brand of pectin, be sure to read their directions and to follow them.