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IMG_1220Homemade jam seems complicated and mysterious to so many. It is not. I promise. Anyone who can scramble an egg, or make Mac & Cheese can make jam from this recipe. Why bother you may ask as you recall shelf after shelf full of jam and jellies at your market all made from a huge variety of fruit. I make my own jam for the same reason I raise hens for my own eggs, and grow many of my own fruits and vegetables. I want to know my ‘food trail’. I want to know where my food was, who came in contact with it, and what goes into it. Homemade jam is so much brighter than that from the grocery store you will be surprised. It is fresh as well! This jam (Jam has fruit in it, jelly is made from just the juice of fruit.) will impress you, your family, and makes a great gift. Jars can be purchased at your grocery store, or like me you can save small glass jars and lids others foods have come in. When I reuse a jar I make sure to keep this jam in the refrigerator. If you have actual canning jars these can be processed with boiling water to preserve the jam for months and months. Mine never lasts that long!

 

You will need jars that will hold about 3 pints, or 6 cups of jam. Jars need to be clean and without chips or cracks. While preparing jam place jars and lids in very hot water.

 

2 ½ cups diced rhubarb

2 cups raspberries. If you are using fresh rinse and spread out on thick towel to absorb any extra water. If you have frozen fruit, thaw berries first and set in strainer to remove extra juice as the berries thaw. Discard or save juice.

5 cups sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 box fruit pectin – Fruit pectin is sold in your grocery store near the canning  supplies.

1-teaspoon butter – optional but I always use butter in my jam

 

In a large pot or dutch oven place all of your fruit. Gently stir in pectin and lemon juice. Add butter. It will eventually melt so don’t worry about stirring it in. Do not over mash your fruit.  Heat fruit mixture on medium high, gently stirring very frequently. When your fruit begins to boil in center of pot add all the sugar at once and stir in. You will see a bit of foam appear on your jam. The butter will keep this at a minimum. Continue to stir as mixture cooks. When it returns to a boil, time it for 1 minute, exactly, stirring the entire time. After 1 minute remove pot from heat immediately.

 

Invert your jars onto towel to catch extra moisture. Skim off foam. This is delicious on soda crackers for a quick taste-sample! Fill jars within ½ inch of top. Screw on lids. Invert so jars are setting on lid for 5 minutes. Turn right side up and allow to cool completely on your counter. Even if reusing jars you may hear a ’ping’ or two as the jars seal. Sealed or not, store in refrigerator once cooled if reusing old jars. If you will eat your jam within a short time plastic containers maybe used, keeping refrigerator of course. Jam for some reason, never looks as pretty in plastic containers as it does in glass jars!

 

You did it! Congratulations!

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