Learn how to make homemade jams and jellies with or without added pectin.Includes instructions on making apple butter.
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How to Make Jams and Jellies

Part 6 of "How to Can Fruits and Vegetables From Your Garden."

Making Jams,Jellies, and Apple Butter
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If you have an abundance of fruit, you can make jam, jelly, or fruit butter. All require sugar and pectin. All fruit has natural pectin already inside, but some have more than others. That is why some fruits require that you add additional pectin in order to get it to jell properly. Most fruits, however, will eventually gel if you cook it long enough, but you should be aware that you can over-cook it. The quickest way to make jelly is to buy pectin at the store and add it to the fruit and/or fruit juice.

Making jam, jelly and fruit butter is similar to canning fruit and vegetables in a boiling-water canner. If you need to read up on how to use a boiling-water canner, follow this link.How to Can Vegetables Using a Boiling Water Canner Page 3 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden. This page talks about how to use a boiling-water canner.

Equipment You Will Need


Jam and Jelly Methods

(With or Without Added Pectin.)

Without Added Pectin:


If you are making jam or jelly, and you do not want to add commercial pectin, you should use these pointers:

With Added Pectin:


This is the quickest way to make jams and jellies. Follow these pointers for a successful jelly or jam making experience:


Jam Recipes

Apricot:Wash and pit apricots. Cut in half and cook in just enough water to keep from scorching. When soft,crush fruit. For every 4 1/2 cups of fruit, add 4 cups sugar and 2 T. lemon juice. Boil mixture until done, stirring constantly. (Use the freezer test.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal. Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Apricot and Pineapple:Wash and slice apricots. For every 7 cups sliced apricots, add 5 cups sugar and 3 cups crushed, canned pineapple. Cook for 30 minutes and check for doneness. Seal in hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace, and process pints for 10 minutes in boiling-water canner.
Berries:Wash and stem berries. Start to crush the berries, then heat them and crush some more. For every 4 cups of fruit, add 4 cups of sugar. Boil until done, stirring constantly.(Use the freezer test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal. Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Blackberry and Apricot:Wash apricots,pit and slice. Wash berries,heat, and crush. For every cup of apricots,add 1/3 cup blackberry juice and 1 cup blackberries, and 1 1/2 cup sugar. Boil until done, stirring constantly.(Use the freezer test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal. Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Cranberry:Wash cranberries.Cook, mash, and put through strainer. For every 8 cups cranberries, add 1 c. water, 1 c. vinegar, 1 T. ground cinnamon, 1/2 T. ground cloves, 1/2 T. ground allspice, and 6 cups sugar. Boil until done, stirring constantly.(Use the freezer test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal. Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Grape:Wash grapes and heat with enough water to prevent scorching. When juicey, run the grapes through a colander, sqeezing the pulp through the holes. To every 2 quarts of grapes, add 6 cups sugar.Cook until done, stirring constantly.(Use the freezer test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal. Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Peach:Wash,peel, and pit peaches. Cut into small pieces, cook, and crush. For every 6 cups peaches, add 5 cups sugar, and 2 T. lemon juice. Cook until done, stirring constantly.(Use the freezer test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal. Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Plum:Wash and pit.For every 5 cups of plums, add 3/4 cups of water and cook until soft.Add 3 cups of sugar and boil until done,stirring constantly. (Use the freezer test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars and,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, seal. Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Plum-peach:Wash,peel, and pit peaches. Wash and pit plums. Cut fruit into small pieces.Using equal amounts of peaches and plums, cook and crush. For every 14 cups of peach-plum mixture, add 12 cups sugar and 1 thinly sliced lemon.Cook until done, stirring constantly.(Use the freezer test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal. Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Jelly Recipes

Apple:Wash apples and cut in quarters. Do not peel. You may also use peels and cores only. Cover with water and cook until done. Strain twice through cheesecloth or jelly bag. for every cup of boiling juice, add 3/4 cup sugar. Cook until done, stirring constantly.(Use the spoon test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal.Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Blackberry:Wash berries. For every pound of blackberries, add 1/4 cup of water and cook for 10 minutes. Press through a cheesecloth or jelly bag. For every cup of blackberry juice, add 1 cup of sugar.Cook until done, stirring constantly.(Use the spoon test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal.Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Dandelion:Pick and wash 1 quart dandelion blossoms (no stems.) Boil blossoms for 3 minutes and drain. Save the liquid for the jelly. Using 3 cups of the dandelion liquid, add 4 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 box pectin. You can add 1 tsp. lemon or orange extract for flavor.Boil until done, stirring constantly.(Use the freezer test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal.
Grape:Wash and crush grapes. Add enough water to keep grapes from scorching and boil until soft (about 15 min.)Strain through cheesecloth or a jelly bag, pressing done to extract all juice.Let stand overnight so sediment can settle. The next morning pour juice off and discard the sediment. Then, for each cup of boiling juice, add 3/4 cup sugar.Cook until done, stirring constantly.(Use the spoon test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace,and seal.Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Peach:Wash peaches,pit and quarter. Cover with water and boil until juicey. You can also use peach peels only.You must add pectin to peaches because peaches do not have enough of their own to jell properly. Read the instructions on the pectin box for how much to add. You may also mix the peach juice with apple juice, because apple juice contains a lot of natural pectin. In this case, add 2 cups of apple juice, and the juice of half a lemon to every 2 cups of peach juice. Add 3/4 cup of sugar to every cup of juice.Cook until done, stirring constantly.(Use the spoon test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal.Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Plum:Wash and pit plums.Cook with just enough water to prevent scorching. Cook until soft and press through a jelly bag or cheesecloth. For every 5 1/2 cups of plum juice, add 1 package of powdered pectin to 7 !/2 cups sugar.Cook until done, stirring constantly.(Use the spoon test to check for doneness.)Pour into half-pint or pint jars,leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal.Process 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Fruit Butter Recipes

Apple Butter:Wash and quarter apples. Add with enough water to keep from scorching and cook until soft. Push through a colander to make applesauce. For every 16 cups of applesauce, add 8 cups sugar, 3 t. cinnamon, 3/4 t. ground cloves, 1/2 t. allspice, and 1/2 c. red hot candy (The red hots are optional, but they do give the applebutter a pretty color and enhance the flavor.)Cook this mixture down. This could take 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours, depending on how much you are making. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Pour into 1/2 pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4 headspace, and seal. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Apricot Butter:Wash, stem, and pit apricots. Cook until soft, adding enough water to prevent scorching. Press through a colander to extract pulp. For every 1 1/2 quart of apricot pulp, add 3 cups sugar and 2 T. lemon juice. Stirring frequently, cook mixture down until it rounds up on a spoon. Pour into 1/2 pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4 headspace, and seal. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Peach Butter:Wash,peel,pit and chop peaches. (You can blanch the peaches to aid in the peeling process.)Cook until soft and enough water to prevent scorching. Press through a colander to extract pulp. For every 2 quarts of pulp, add 4 cups sugar. Stirring frequently, cook mixture down until it rounds up on a spoon. Pour into 1/2 pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4 headspace, and seal. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Pear Butter:Wash, quarter and cook pears, adding enough water to prevent scorching.Press through a colander to extract pulp. For every 2 quarts of pulp, add 4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1 t. grated orange peel, and 1/2 t. nutmeg.Stirring frequently, cook mixture down until it rounds up on a spoon. Pour into 1/2 pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4 headspace, and seal. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Strawberry Butter:Wash, crush and cook strawberries, adding enough water to prevent scorching. Press through a colander to extract pulp. For every 5 cups of strawberry pulp, add 2 cups sugar and 2 T. lemon juice. Let stand for 3 hours. Cook mixture down (stirring frequently) until it rounds up on a spoon. Pour into 1/2 pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4 headspace, and seal. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Marmalade Recipes

Lemon Marmalade: Juice lemons and peel off the thin, yellow skin. Simmer 1 3/4 C. peel, 1/2 C. lemon juice, and 1/2 C. water for 25 minutes. Add 1 1/2 C. more lemon juice and 6 C. sugar. Stir and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and let stand overnight, in a covered bowl, in a cool place. Once again, boil mixture and add 3 ounces of liquid pectin. Boil until mixture sheets off of a spoon, skim off foam, pour into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and seal. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Orange Marmalade: For every 4 C. thinly sliced oranges, add 2 thinly sliced lemons and 3 C. water. (Remember to discard the seeds.) Boil for 5 minutes and let stand overnight in a cool place. Boil 1 hour and let stand again for 4 hours. Add 6 C. sugar and boil until mixture sheets off of a spoon. Add 1/2 C. lemon juice, pour into jars and seal, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Other Links You May Find Helpful

Introduction on Canning Fruits and VegetablesPage 1 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about what you should know before you begin to can.

How to Can Vegetables Using a Pressure CannerPage 2 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This talks about canning vegetables using a pressure canner.

How to Can Vegetables Using a Boiling Water CannerPage 3 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden. This page talks about canning vegetables using a boiling water canner.

How to Can FruitPage 4 of "How to Can Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about canning fruit.

How to Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden.Page 5 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about freezing basics and "how-to's."

How to Make Jams and Jellies Page 6 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about the tips and tricks of making homemade jams and jellies.

How to Make Pickles and RelishPage 7 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about pickling.

How to Dehydrate Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden.Page 8 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetabes from Your Garden." This page talks about drying and lists dtying times for fruits and vegetables.

How to Make lye Soap and Other Homemade Concoctions Page 9 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about making lye soap and other old-fashioned, homemade concoctions and remedies.

Home Processing Troubleshooting GuidePage 10 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page answers your questions about canning and freezing garden produce.

Other Home Canning Links This site lists other links that you may find helpful.