How To Make Jam

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How to Make Jam

Making Jam was initially daunting and confusing to me. Well, lets be serious- it was completely intimidating and even down right scary. All that boiling water? All that goopy stuff. What’s that stuff called? Pectin?

So mostly I just “let” my mom do it for me.

Now that I have made jam the last several years, I can’t believe that my mom made all that jam for me! It is a total labor of love. But after a full day of jamming, I could not be more pleased to have all of this gorgeous jam to eat all winter long. In our case, there is also plenty for gifts throughout the year and over the holidays. (I will be sure to feature these types of “gifts” come the holidays.)

how to make jam

We made apricot jam, plum jam, blackberry jam, mixed berry and raspberry jam. Yes. It was a very busy day! But it was also special. My mom and I were able to spend the whole day together, (even if it was a sweaty, profanity laced day!) and my girls got to see how jam is made. (don’t worry, I didn’t swear when they were around- just when the boiling water spit at me ☺)

how to make jam

To my mom’s credit, we decided to bake homemade white bread simultaneously! I was slathering the skimmed off jam onto bread as quickly as the bread was coming out of the oven, (but that post is for next week) All in all, it was a wonderful day and we are fully stocked for the winter!

how to make jam how to make jam how to make jam how to make jam how to make jam how to make jam how to make jam
While we made all of those types of jam, I am including the recipe fro raspberry or blackberry. However you can use any fruit you want and the fruit/sugar/pectin ratio’s will be on the pectin container. Just follow my process below for (easy and foolproof) instructions on how to make jam!

Berry Jam, makes 8 cups
5 cups berries (crushed) (with raspberries this could be 7-8 cups, with blackberries with are denser, it will be 6-7 cups)
7 cups sugar
1 packet pectin

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

how to make jam

Place clean jars and lids in the boiling water and let them boil in there while you make the jam.

Hand smash the berries, (I used a potato masher) until they are crushed and equal about 5 cups.

how to make jam

Place the berries in a large heavy pot over medium heat.

how to make jam

Bring the berries to a simmer and add the sugar.

how to make jam

Stir to combine.

Bring the berries and sugar to a rolling boil.

how to make jam

Add the pectin and stir to combine.


Return the berries to a boil and then shut the heat off.

how to make jam

Using a ladle, skim the foam off of the top of the jam.

how to make jam
(I treat the foam like freezer jam and keep it in the fridge for a few days for spreading on toast.)

how to make jam

Remove the lids and jars from the pot of water with tongs or canning tongs.

Ladle the jam into the jars, almost to the very top.

how to make jam

how to make jam

Wipe the top of the jar with a damp cloth (make sure there is no jam on the seal.)

Place the lids on the jars and screw them shut.

how to make jam

Using the canning tongs, place the jars in a second big pot of boiling water and let them boil about 10 minutes.

how to make jam

Remove the jars from the boiling water and set them on a heat proof surface.

how to make jam

Leave the jars undisturbed for about 24 hours while the jam sets up.



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  1. Amanda says:

    I get all hungry thinking about the fresh bread and jam together!!! Great tutorial Heather, I will be consulting this very soon!

  2. Love this! I make strawberry jam every June and love doing it. So fun!

  3. jenjenk says:

    beautiful!! i just hate the canning process so when I make jam [small, small batches], it tends to be a quick free for all…eat it now or forever hold your peace.

    i guess that’s pretty lame. ;) will need to give this a try!

    • lol Jen! I am all about one day of pain for a years worth of gain. Well, maybe more like 6 months gain…. :)

  4. I love seeing the entire process. I make freezer jam but I, too, am a little daunted when it comes to cooked jams. Thank you for helping me see it’s not that difficult!

  5. I have been making a bunch of jam this summer too — so far strawberry rhubarb, apricot, and peach — but I have been doing all freezer jams. I don’t have special canning tongs…and I’m afraid to attempt the water bath process without them. I was hoping for a picture of what your canning tongs look like. I dont think my grilling tongs would do… ?

    • I will take a pic and post today. Regular tongs ARE SO DANGEROUS!! The boiling water trickles back down the tongs and burns your arms. not cool. Been there, done that and do not recommend it. Last year, in the middle, I ran to the store (burned arms and all) and they carried them right there at the grocery store! (I especially bet during jam making season that they would be available)

  6. Maria says:

    I just made blackberry jam this week. Great post! Homemade jam is the best!

  7. Jen Marie says:

    My sis and i have helped my mom make jam since we were little and I still love to make it, although now with MY kids’ help.
    Our totally favorite is the strawberry jam. It’s hard to stay out of and yummy on just about everything. We prefer the freezer jam recipe, since it seems sweeter and the pectin seems tarter. I wonder if it uses more pectin? Anyway, it’s our favorite and so important to me to continue these traditions.

    We still get together once a year to can tomatoes and cut and freeze sweetcorn. The tomatoes we cook down with celery and onions. It’s to die for. I use my cans all winter long with hamburger, black beans and potatoes. Oh, I die. Soooo good.

  8. Vicki in GA says:


  9. Karen says:

    Do you know if you can reuse the jars and lids more than once? My dad always makes me blackberry jam and I toss the lids and keep the jars for beverages when the preserves are gone. Just curious if you knew.

    • I always reuse my jars for lots of things, but they can certainly be used for jam again, you just buy replacement flat parts to the lids! (sold at every store)

  10. christine says:

    Thank you! Seeing is much better than just reading! It looks like a great labor of love day all around! Hope your labor day weekend is as nice!

  11. thanks for the step by step. An excellent post for someone like me who has never made jam before!

  12. Vicki B says:

    I’ve wanted to make jam for years and it absolutely terrifies me! You’ve made the process sound simple.

  13. marla says:

    I so need to get on the homemade jam thing. Great tutorial. Thanks for that ;)

  14. LOVE this jam pictorial!! These are great shots…you make it look SO easy! Thanks for sharing!

  15. susan says:

    I am bookmarking this. Great post, Heather! Thanks!

  16. Kristen says:

    You were a busy jam making bee! And that sweet baby of yours… oh my. What a doll!

  17. Jena says:

    Hi Heather,
    Do you think my jam would still turn out if I only use 3 cups of sugar?

    Thank you!