A how-to on making jam, pt. 2.

All that fruit, boiling long into the night….end result.

First things first, the recipe:


Cover fruit with water, bring to boil, simmer for two hours. Pectin test as needed. Strain liquid, add to pot with sugar in a ratio of .75:1 sugar to liquid. Add the juice of half a lemon per 2 cups (or 50mL) of liquid, boil rapidly, stirring often, until jam begins to set. Bottle and seal.

Nasturtiums, me, and a lemon tree.
Measure ingredients reasonably accurately.
Add sugar, then lemon. The order may not even matter. Ask your gran.
It is recommended to cook fruit slowly, boil jam quickly. I find it hard to do that, being so fidgety I will put the ingredients on, get tired of standing at the stove waiting for 2L of liquid to reach temperature, promise myself I’ll come back every two minutes, and then trim bonsais/start crocheting/write a letter/clean something until the smell of burning fruit and sugar brings me running back to the kitchen.
About 1/2 hour on the boil – turning a richer, deep red.

This time, I was able to meet this dilemma in the middle. Jam on simmer, not boil, and I set alarms intermittently throughout the night as a reminder. Easy!

Pectin testing. Captain Obvious says: “Throw out metho/juice mixture to avoid accidental poisonings!”
Boiling the jars.

Boil the jars. When I am re-using old Kan Tong jars, I like to give them a first wash and a long soak in hot soapy water to both clean and soak the old labels off. Metho can be used for a second time in the jam-making process by removing the extra adhesive from unwanted labels.

Boil for at least three minutes. This sterilizes the inside and outside of your jars but you need to remember that the second oily, bacteria-coated skin touches the inside of the glass, it is now un-sterilized. If you bottle like that, whatever was transferred onto the glass has the perfect conditions (food, shelter & exclusivity) to potentially turn the jar into a petri-dish. This will horrify your friends and relatives.

About 5 minutes (max) before pouring the jam, use tongs to handle jars and place them on a clean tea-towel with the lids facing up. Pour the jam into the jars and as quick as you can, grab the lids from the underside and place them on top of the jars. Use a cloth to protect your hands from the hot glass, seal the jars. As the jar cools, the air inside will contract, creating a vacuum and pulling the pop-top seal in.

Daybreak, and there’s 5 jelled jams! Science is golden.

About kellymarietheartist

Visual artist originally from Australia, travelling the world creating crocheted wearable art and functional textile pieces. Sustainable art and slow fashion made from recycled fabrics, wools and metal. Colourful. Psychedelic. Unique.
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2 Responses to A how-to on making jam, pt. 2.

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