Growing your own fruit is a great way to fill your pantry with delectable jams & preserves. The Famers Almanac Website had a great overview of the process which has been included below.

It’s actually quite easy and you’ll enjoy delicious results—free from additives and chemicals.

Tips on Making Jams and Preserves

(from http://www.almanac.com)

Sweet and sticky, most people today lump strawberry jam and strawberry preserves together, thinking that they are the same thing. Well, almost, but not quite.

Jams use mashed up fruit, while preserves use whole or large pieces of fruit. Both of them, however, are easier and more economical to make than jelly, since they are made of entire fruits instead of just the juice, and can be good either thick or runny. Both are also delectable when homemade!

Here are some basic tips that you can follow to make your own jams and preserves.

  • Wash and remove the stems or cores, if any. Peel if necessary; cherries andberries do not require peeling; fruit like pears and peaches do. Remember: for jams, cut up or mash the fruit; for preserves, use whole or cut into large chunks.
  • Make jam or preserves in small batches because this way, the fruit will cookquickly and the color and flavor will be better preserved.
  • For every cup of fruit you use, add 3/4 cup of sugar. For example, four cups of fruit makes a very manageable batch, so you would need 3 cups of sugar per batch—unless otherwise specified by the recipe.
  • If you are using ripe or particularly sweet fruit, add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. The acid from the lemon juice will help the jam or preserve thicken.
  • Scorching is more likely to happen to jams and preserves, so in order to avoid that dilemma, stir your mixture often for 15-40 minutes, depending on the fruit.
  • Scorching can ruin a otherwise delicious jam or preserve, but is very easy to prevent.
  • To test your jam or preserve  to see if it’s done, take a spoonful out of yourkettle, and if it holds its shape after about a minute, your jam or preserve is

    ready to jar.

  • For help translating a pound of fruit to the number of cups needed, see our Measuring Fruits chart (in Related Articles above).

Jam and Preserves Recipes

Now that you are a little bit more familiar with the art of jam and preserve-making, try your hand at these award-winning jam recipes from The 1983 Old Farmer’s Almanac reader recipe contest.

Prize-Winning Strawberry Jam

Tutti-Frutti Jam

Blueberry-Rhubarb Jam

Kiwi Freezer Jam

Peach Jam

Ginger-Pear Preserves

Blackberry Jam

Tomato Jam

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