Wednesday morning turned out to be a day for making jam. Music lessons had been cancelled and I had three packages of defrosted apricots calling my name. I’d bought cases of apricots from the Peach Man last month, for the family reunion (my sisters-in-law love apricots as much as I love peaches) and the ones left behind (apricots, not sisters) were frozen.
My grandson and I made jam one morning when he was here, so he had a suitcase full of jam to give as gifts in Texas when he headed home. It’s funny how he loves to make jam.
I tried a new recipe this summer, using “Dutch Jell” natural pectin:
5 cups chopped apricots
7 cups sugar
1/3 cup rounded Dutch Jell All Natural
1/4 cup lemon juice
Combine the apricots, lemon juice and Dutch Jell in a large saucepan. Mix and bring to a full boil. Add the sugar, return to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Skim foam.
There are lots of instructions online about how to can fruit and jam safely should you want to try it. It’s easy, but there are safety guidelines. I wash my jars and keep them in a 250-degree oven to stay hot. I boil my lids and rings in a pan on the stove and keep the water simmering lightly. After filling the jars (1/2″ from the top) I wipe the rims with a damp paper towel, then put on the lids and rings tightly. I invert each jar for twenty seconds (I’ve seen recommendations for five minutes) and then set the jar right side up. I’ve never had any trouble with sealing–that loud “pop” is always such a good sound.
I thought I had to put my jams in a water bath canner until my mother-in-law showed me the “inversion” technique. We saved a lot of time preserving the rest of our jams that long ago fall.
I always think of her when I’m making jam or canning fruit. She gave me such a gift when she taught me how to do all of this. Thank you, Mom!