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Jul 8, 2010 10:43 AM

Your jam or jelly or preserve recipe please

Yesterday I went shopping for strawberries since my plants are funky this year and won't produce but a gnat's handful. Did two recipes. One with berries sugar lemon juice salt butter, very little of the last 3 ingredients. The other with berries sugar fresh ginger salt key lime juice pinch cinnamon pinch nutmeg. My favorite is the the ginger one however first one is wonderful too.

Neighbor has full tree of apricots. I think I'll go over there, basket in hand along with cash and a forlorn look on my face, think that'd work?

Mind posting jam or preserve or jelly recipes? < because I didn't mention the rampage I went on yesterday too for jars.................... :+(

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  1. Tigress over at Tigress in a Jam ( is running a monthly Can Jam and last month was berries. But even better than that the roundup is a great portal to lots of preservers who blog about and share their canning recipes. There's also a link there to her sister site, Tigress in a Pickle. Another great resource is Kevin West's Saving the Season blog:

    2 Replies
    1. re: morwen

      Oh my goodness! What an extraordinary resource. Thank you so much for posting this.

      1. re: morwen

        Awesome, beautiful sites. Thank you so much for the links, I book marked both!

      2. that does look wonderful. I just found a box of jalepeno's and have always wanted to make jalepeno jam or jelly whatever it's called and see they or it also calls for bell peppers. why hadn't I thought to buy those too, oh well.

        I'll read further and see about unusual ones too.........

        1. I almost never use a recipe for jam, but then I make mine super-simple: fruit, sugar. This is operating under the assumption that good fruit doesn't really need much ornamentation, but that's my Puritan New England influence talking. Proportions are usually around 3:2 fruit to sugar by weight, but I often sorta play it by ear. It's all about the amount of sugar and how long you cook it. I'm loosely guided by a 1945 Ball Blue Canning Book and the old classic, Putting Food By. What was good enough for folks back then is good enough for me. :)

          This approach works for whatever is lying around. First up this year was rhubarb. I dice it up and then add half as much sugar by volume, and it usually comes out quite nicely. I kinda missed out on strawberries this year, only picked a few quarts, but we have tons of jam from last year still.

          Over the holiday weekend we stayed at our cousins' house in VT, and they had a sour cherry tree. I picked the last of the sour cherries the birds hadn't gotten to (about 3 cups' worth), and made preserves, which means the fruit stayed whole. Used the same formula as the rhubarb, and found that it was tasty but I think I overcooked it slightly and it came out more like candied cherries. Was still mighty tasty.

          Last year we did jam from both raspberries and blackberries. These benefit from a run through a food mill to lower, though not entirely eliminate, the seediness. Then, 3 parts fruit to 2 parts sugar. They're awesome.

          2 Replies
          1. re: the_MU

            I'm with you on the overcooking time of the fruits. My first batch of strawberry jam altho incredible in flavor and color and consistency, was more of a candied kind too. I had jarred up the entire amounts into separate jars so now what I thought. I added some boiled water with the smallest amount of white vinegar, very little of either and slowly added that to the jar, all done, no more 'this is gonna remove my fillings' jam.

            our area has all the blackberries you could want but with you on the seediness too. don't care for seeds but do have 3 food mills, I could try that.

            never got out to get the green peppers yesterday, the day got away from me after my original shopping, dang. right now, I'm printing up 3 recipes for the jalepeno jam/jelly and will go to the store prepared this time *+(

            1. re: the_MU

              Yes, just fruit and sugar to taste. Sometimes some lemon juice depending on the fruit. I made some apricot preserves with honey instead of sugar that were superb!

            2. did you have a preference for pectin or not?

              24 Replies
              1. re: Emme

                Never found a need for pectin. I think it's needed if you want to make low-sugar jam, but I've never had a problem getting my, er, high-sugar jam to the right consistency without it.

                1. re: the_MU

                  It all depends on what you're making. I often make ginger jelly and ginger marmalade. There simply isn't enough natural pectin in ginger to get it to set no matter how much sugar you add.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Makes sense. Ginger marmalade sounds really good! Does it have citrus too, or is it straight ginger root?

                    1. re: the_MU

                      The marmalade has 1/2 cup lemon juice to 1/2 pound of stem ginger--and there's the rub. I've tried making this with mature ginger (1 to 1-1/4 pounds) and it just doesn't cut it. At least, not after you've had it with stem ginger. And stem ginger is not easy to come by--not even in season, not even in Chinatown.

                2. re: Emme

                  I have more pectin in my kitchen store [of both brands] than I care to admit but would prefer without, what is pectin anyway? if the fruit doesn't have enough pectin already, pooey on it. I also just reminded my son who tasted the ginger strawberry version of my strawberry jam just now on his WW toast, that in both recipes I halved the amount of sugar and was scared it would have a problem setting up, maybe the sugar played an important key in the chemistry of it, but can't imagine how sweet these two would have been with the other half.

                  BTW, is there anything else, another fruit or onion or garlic that I should add when making the jalepeno flavor? see I really am a novice with this jam stuff.

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    There are lots of options when making hot pepper jelly, but I've never seen a recipe that used jalapenos alone. Whenever I've made it, either red or green, the main ingredient is bell pepper, not jalapeno. When it comes to canning, I don't improvise, but that's just me. And I can't find (or remember) the recipe I've used in the past. But there's a great looking recipe which I have not tried in Jean Anderson's A Love Affair with Southern Cooking. Ingredients are: 8 large red bell peppers, 4 medium jalapeno peppers, 2 small serrano peppers, 2 medium garlic cloves, 6 cups sugar, 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 3-ounce packets liquid pectin, plus hot pepper sauce if you want your jelly hotter than this will make it.

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        Touché. But do you trust recipes? I never have. We don't know the provenance of the recipes and the reviews, when there are any, aren't very convincing. This isn't a recipe I'd want to waste my time with. But if you do make it and are thrilled with the results, I hope you'll come back and tell me how wrong I am.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          oh no Joan, I won't be making that and you are not wrong, not at all, I was only proving I'd seen one without the use of bells. and no, I don't trust them, but do love reading what they have to offer and how they're written but then I'm easily amused. so many are incomplete, I think it's pretty funny how they list 4 ingredients then you read the recipe and there are [in the instructions] 12 more ingredients. are these posters real or not? hahah

                      2. re: JoanN

                        that looks good, now I wish I'd have seen it earlier when I was shopping. I bought the bell peppers but don't want to go back for the serrano's. I did buy liquid pectin because it was on sale for a box of 3 so I thought what the heck.
                        and I don't want my jelly hotter than without the hotsauce, my mouth can't take it.
                        I once got out my Dave's Insanity hot sauce, put exactly one little tiny drop on my omelet and went running for the milk that I drank all day just to cure my ''ever lovin on fire'' mouth. :(

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          This looks like the one from the ball book, which if it is is really good! I was apprehensive at first but I really love it. It is not super hot as you remove a lll the seeds. Next batch I might add a few seeds and experiment with the heat. I love it on sandwiches, mixed into leftover pasta for lunch, on a cracker with cheese, etc...hope you give it a try. I'm going to try a red pepper jelly this year just because it looks so pretty and will be a good alternative for those that don't like the heat.

                          1. re: geminigirl

                            I had the red bells in my cart and got up to pay and thought, "sheeeesh, you can only do so much jelly and you've not even attempted the green pepper jalepeno yet, do that first then do the red if you must". I agree about the red being so pretty around the holiday on a platter featuring the green too, how festive but for now, I'd better stick to jalepeno. Oh, BTW, searching through the freezer yesterday, I found a bag of serrano chilis. I took out 2 so I can make the one Joan posted about on here. But now rereading it, it calls for 8 large red bells, ok, not this time, again, no more marketing for me but that post is saved for Christmas, and as gifts, thanks to all in here......................"Stores! here I come in search of many many many cute little jars".............:

                        2. re: JoanN

                          ok, a rough version of this is made. looked up the recipe online, found her and web site but not the recipe for the jalepeno jelly so I used the above and then other directions for the actual time, fingers crossed.
                          husband and I just dipped some triskets into it, the warm stuff left on the spoon, and it isn't real hot. hum, should have left in more seeds or 'any' seeds. think I scooped them all out cause was scared. next time........but first I have to let it set up, that'll be the real test, like on the turkey cutlets, breaded, I'll be making for dinner tonight, should be fun to dollop into the sauce or jelly, depending how set it is.

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            Yes, not on her Web site. If it had been, I would have provided a link. In the future, though, if you want details, don't hesitate to ask. Depending on how complicated the recipe is, many of us here are more than willing to paraphrase for CHers who ask.

                            I'll be most eager to hear what you think. I have no storage space left for more canning projects (and still want to make a few quarts of corn relish once corn is well and truly in season), so will rely on you to tell me whether or not this is a must-do for sometime in the future.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              hi was triumphant. it set up quickly, being in the frig and yielded me 3 jars about 12 ounces each I think. I didn't use the ball method because I can't find the box of tiny ball jars I did buy years ago. they'd have been perfect because of their size, any pot is tall enough for them to be submerged into but again, just did old jelly jars and waxed on top. hope that works.

                              the flavor is very good. I would have liked more heat and I am not a hot or spicy girl but this is really pretty innocuous heat wise. also I took a chance with the amount of pectin liquid certo I used only because the box of it that I bought has 3 3 oz packs in it. the recipe instructions that I'd followed [was 3rd down on the google list] called for 4 oz liquid certo. so, thinking wasteful to open one for a single ounce [and hoped it would work fine] or I'd end up with a saucey jelly. I used just [1] 3 oz pack. it set up more than perfectly. very good consistency and if anything, maybe a little too stiff but bet that's because I went beyond that last minute boiling my jars and lids.

                              it was sooooooo good on the turkey cutlets that were breaded. I mean really so good. husbands lunch for work today that I assembled this early AM was a roast beef sandwich on 9 grain bread, that I first buttered lightly, then mayo'd lightly, then jalepeno jellied lightly, then the beef slices. I know what he'll say to me when he gets home tonight, something along the lines of "honey, you be duh bom dot com" for that sandwich.

                              thanks for all your help...................
                              and I know that all I have to do is ask, it goes both ways, I help when I can :+)

                              1. re: iL Divo

                                Terrific. Thrilled to hear it. Congratulations.

                                And really, honestly, I don't want to rain on your parade, but although our grandmothers and great-grandmothers lived through it, using wax is no longer recommended. In fact, it's warned against. Much too easy for the seal to be broken either because of bubbles in the wax or just an incomplete seal to begin with.

                                If I were you, I'd keep all that jelly in the fridge. Sounds as though you're going to be using it up fairly quickly anyway.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  oh Joan, it's in the fridge and not coming out, at all.

                                  my old friend from Seattle has been doing jams for a hundred years. she gave me a jar of her famous huckleberry jam, it was waxed. taking off the wax, how long do I have if it stays constantly in the fridge until it's all eaten up? any idea? can I remelt the jelly and find those little jars and redo them, or seal up in water bath?

                                  now trying to find a good orange jam to make. just spoke to a friend of mine that isn't a cook but to me she asked, so, how hard is it to do this jalepeno jelly, is it really hard? I think perhaps she's on her way to the market for little jars and jalepeno's... :)

                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    I have heard of people who have remelted jelly and then canned it in a boiling water bath, but I have no personal experience doing it. If the jelly is heated to the boiling point you'd kill off any added organisms but you'd probably also alter its consistency. Whether or not you would ruin it would depend on how thick it was to begin with.

                                    Frankly, I think as long as the jelly is in the fridge it will be fine. I have a canning book from as recently as the late 70s that says that jellies don't need to be processed at all. That same author, 30 years later, processes her jellies in a boiling water bath. It really is surprising how canning dictates have changed in a comparatively short time.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      I'll just use it up and be dilegent about it.
                                      it is wonderful the way it is, but for sure, next time I do this, I'll leave way more seeds in. it just lacks a bit of punch.

                                      so tonight, I'm going to take out about 1/4 cup worth of it, dilute it just a tiny bit with some chicken stock, place it in a saucepan with some frozen meatballs hoping to add a glaze. I think they'll be terrific. oven roasted rosemary garlic olive oiled potato wedges will go well.

                                      see I'm using it up already.......hhahhahahh

                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        It will last months in the fridge. But for future reference, you can reprocess pickles, jellies, jams, preserves, chutneys, relishes, etc. If you do the waterbath routine and have some jars that don't seal, you simply dump the contents back in a pot, bring it up to a boil and then go through the routine of filling clean jars, capping (use new lids, always use new lids, the rings are reusable the lids aren't) and process in the bath for the allotted time. There may be a slight deterioration of the fresh taste in some of the more delicate products, but only you may notice. In more robust things (chutneys, salsas, etc.) it may not be noticeable at all. But if the choice is jamming your fridge to overflowing or being able to store on shelves, or losing it entirely, yes you can reprocess your stuff. I'm always extra careful wiping the rims of the jars before putting the lids on and I rarely have a seal fail.

                                        Definitely with Joan on the wax thing. Yep, people have done it and still do it and get away with it but it's not recommended. Nor is putting the jars in a hot oven to seal, turning them upside down to seal, or running them through your dishwasher to seal. My crank with the wax is not only is it difficult to make an airtight seal, it's messy, time consuming, burns from drips happen, if the wax gets too hot it can ignite, and wax seals have a tendency to weep and seep with time and that attracts ants and rodents. I find the two piece lids and waterbath method far simpler.

                                        1. re: morwen

                                          well then out goes the wax, it's that simple.
                                          I love recommendations from you, thank you.

                                          husband said his lunch sandwich was amazing.
                                          the jalepeno jelly made the roast beef sandwich a true hit, yeah!
                                          the meatballs in the glaze last night were so good.
                                          I did a beef stock instead of chicken stock, and floated
                                          the meatballs in there until dinner time. so good.

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            You're welcome!

                                            I'm growing a little pepper called Zavory this year. I hunted and hunted for Peppadew seeds (because I LOVE them but they're very expensive in the stores) only to find that Peppadews are a patented South African pepper and they do not export the seeds. Zavorys, sounded a lot like Peppadews: small, sweet, mildly zippy. I'm so not into ripping the cells off my tongue with heat. The plants are covered with little peppers and blossoms and I'm looking forward to Zavory jelly, sweet pickled Zavorys, and stuffed Zavorys!

                                            1. re: morwen

                                              where'd you get your seeds for the Zavory? they sound wonderful because like you, I'm not into an instant death by tongue :)

                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                I think I got them from Burpee but I know I saw them in some of the other catalogs we get.

                    1. Here's my recipe for Apricot Pineapple Jam. It's delicious!


                      9 Replies
                      1. re: operagirl

                        I see on your blog you recommend the “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.” Many people on these boards recommend the “Ball Blue Book of Preserving.” Can you tell me the difference between the two and why you recommend the former rather than the latter?

                        1. re: JoanN

                          No operagirl, but the Blue Book is a basic compendium of canning recipes and techniques, usually with a "master recipe" gone over in detail. It's the size of a magazine and costs about 7 bucks. The Complete Book is just that--complete with a gazillion recipes. The Blue Book is for a beginner like me (indeed, I liken it to an introductory textbook!) But the Complete Book has a bunch of recipes I can't wait to try as I improve my canning skills.

                          1. re: operagirl

                            hi OG.
                            can canned apricots be used and canned pineapple too? or no.....
                            not familiar with this process yet.
                            I love opera singers voices and am totally envious of someone who has that talent.

                            1. re: iL Divo

                              Well, when I made this jam, I wanted to capture the delicious flavor of the fresh fruits. Using canned would probably be a waste of time and yield a bland, not-so-satisfying product. I don't have experience jamming with canned fruit, though, so I can't say for sure!

                              1. re: operagirl

                                it's ok, not a big deal, but for instance I am seeing recipes online for orange jam using pineapple in there too. just wondered if I could use canned pineapple.
                                I know pineapple has an odd enzyme or whatever as it's one of those fruits that you shouldn't use in making jello because it does something funny. I'll opt for fresh, can't go wrong there.
                                I can't wait for my pomegranates to ripen, that should be great jam/jelly

                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  well unless I go back to my old stomping ground in Reseda for my own apricot tree that used to overflow with goodness, I am a bit adverse to spending what it's gonna cost on fresh apricots. I bought a pineapple, only a few bucks which was well worth it, and I am gonna to check out the sales today at the market for what apricots are going for. it is the perfect time of the year as I remember May being the perfect time that that tree's poor branches hung being overcrowded. if not, I'll try the other route and look for a large good quality can of cots.

                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    the cherry's are out in full bloom and right around the mountain from us are many ranches that have cherry trees everywhere ready for the consumer to turn into ???
                                    guess I'll take a drive a get me some cherries.