Easy homemade jam made from from fresh or frozen fruit
Choose a tall stockpot, preferably non-stick, to cook jam in. If using frozen fruit, it needs to be defrosted and mashed up a little. Just how chunky you leave it is up to you. :)
Getting ready: You'll need a second tall pot of water deep enough to cover the jars for the boiling water bath after filling jars. Start it now. Add a tablespoon or so of vinegar to the water so lime doesn't form on jars. Put flats (lids) in bowl of very hot water ready to use.
Lay a thick bath towel on the area where you'll fill your jars. Assemble canning funnel and jar lifter, flats, rings, and a clean damp dishcloth for wiping rims.
Now, Combine fruit, pectin, lemon juice and butter. Bring to a boil.
Add sugar all at once and keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes to such a boiling point it cannot be "stirred down," Keep cooking for one minute, set a timer! Remember: The jam will be HOT! Use a very long wooden spoon to keep stirring. Or wear an oven mitt on your stirring hand!
Remove from heat. Put jam pot on a heatproof cutting board or trivet. It is hot! Ladle jam into sterilized jars (a run through the dishwasher works fine) using canning funnel. Leave about 1/2" headspace. Wipe rim of jar with damp cloth, check for any nicks with fingertip. Do not use if nick is present. Put on lid and ring. Tighten by hand.
Put jars in boiling water bath and process for 10 minutes. Using jar lifter, remove jars from water bath onto rack or towel-covered surface. Allow them to sit until cool. You'll hear the dsitictive "ping" sound as the jars seal. If one does not seal, rerigerate and use within a month or so. Trust me, this will not be hard to do!
This recipe will make about six 12 ounce jars and one 8 ounce jar. This is not exact as jam is part art, part science!
If you have too little to fill a jar, rejoice and enjoy sampling! We always have some dinner rolls available for such a lucky occasion.