Making jam is very easy but preserving jam requires a litte attention to detail.
By Kankana Saxena
Most people make multiple batches of jam in summer and preserve it to enjoy in winter. And, here I am making some jam in the middle of a cold winter day. Then again, when you stay in a place where you have access to local grown fruits almost though out the year, you really don’t have to wait for summer.
All jam begins with delicious fruits— juicy and sweet. It’s extremely important for the fruits to be in their best quality, firm and not too mushy. Unripe fruits will not have the depth of flavor that you are looking for in your jam. So, it’s very critical to try the fruits before you buy a big bag to make the jam.
Making jam is very easy but preserving jam requires a litte attention to detail. I usually avoid making huge batches as it’s just the two of us at home and neither of us are huge fans of jam.
The experts suggest to use mason jar for storage as it has this flat lid which helps creating vacuum and seals the jar tight. This is a key factor for preserving the jam.
Pectin plays a very important role in making a fruit jam. It is what makes the fruit jam set tightly. It’s like a glue, technically called complex carbohydrate which is present in the cell walls of plants and helps thicken the jam. All fruits have certain content of pectin in them, some high and some low. Depending on what fruit you are using, you might have to use artificial pectin powder.
This recipe has no artificial pectin in it. I used orange juice and lemon juice, which have very high content of pectin and that gave the jam right amount of consistency that I was looking for. I personally don’t prefer jams which are too thick.
- 3 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- Chop the strawberries in halves or quarters.
- Place the berries in a deep sauce pan and lightly mash the berries using a masher.
- Pour the citrus juice, honey and chopped rosemary.
- Cook in medium heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally until it thickens.
- While it’s cooking, start preparing the jar for preserving.
- Clean the jar, fill it with boiling water and keep it aside for a while. After a while, throw the water and dry the jar completely.
- Pour some more boiling water in a pan and drop the flat lid. Let it stay there unless you are ready to use the flat lid. The idea is to keep the flat lid warm until you ready to seal the jar.
- Once the jam thickens, fill it in the clean jar and wipe the rim of the jar clean with a damp tissue paper.
- Pat dry the flat lid and place it on top of the jar.
- Screw the dome lid ring tightly onto the filled jar.
- Turn the jar upside down. This helps the heat from the jam to contact with the lid and create a vacuum.
- Allow the jam to cool and then, store it in a cool dark place.
- It’s very important to refrigerate the jam after the jar has been opened.