Let's see how to make jam with our electric preserving cooker.
First of all, we're going to break jam making down into 5 simple steps.
1. Wash and cut fruit. When washing delicate fruits like raspberries and strawberries, fill a bowl with cold water and slosh the berries about instead of crushing them with the faucet’s gushing water.
2. Sanitize jars. (leave lids face up on a clean surface). We prefer sanitizing jars in the oven. It leaves valuable stove space available for jamming and prevents water from collecting in the jars. Place a dish towel on a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 250. Take the lids off the jars (set them aside upside down) and place them in the hot oven until you’re ready to fill them.
3. Cook fruit until it sets. We start with the heat on medium high and stir occasionally until the jam begins to reduce and thicken. I love jam with thick pieces of fruit, but if you like a smoother one, then stir to your heart’s content (the more you stir, the more the fruit breaks down). Keep turning the heat down until the jam sets*.
4. Fill warm jars with hot jam. Remove your jars from the oven. Set the cookie sheet on a towel (to keep your counter from burning). Place a funnel over the top of your jars, or chance it and use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill the jars. You’ll want to fill the jars just to the middle spiral; if you turn the jars just so, you’ll notice three lines- the middle one is where you want to end. Too little jam and you increase the oxygen in your jar, too much and the jam can spill over and break the seal.
5. Close the jars and process them in a water bath. Wipe the top of the glass jar if you spilled some on the side (it’s all about the seal) and twist the lid onto the jar. Get your tallest pot going by filling it with water and bringing it to a boil. Lower your jars in (it’s helpful to have rubber tongs or grabbers) without tilting them into the water. You need at least 2″ of water above the top of the lids, and once the water returns to a boil, leave them in, boiling for at least 10 minutes (20 if you’re at high altitude). Remove the jars from the water without tilting and wait for the sweet sounds of popping lids. Done! Your jam, should they remain closed, will be good for 6 months in the pantry.
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