My mom has made homemade jam forever. In fact, I don't remember ever having the store-bought stuff growing up. And every summer I think I'll try making it myself. But I'm too intimidated and just don't.
Until now. And I cannot believe I waited so long...because it's CRAZY easy.
I mean like I could be half asleep and make it. With one arm tied behind my back. Really. It's that simple.
She and my dad were in town last week so we decided to do a taste-test and see which brand we liked better.
I'm going to feature the Ball Brand (pictured on right) because it ended up being our favorite. Not only does it have waaaay less sugar, but it didn't require the extra step on the stove that Sure Jell did.
Step one: wash your berries!
The best way to do this is fill a large bowl with cold water and place the berries in. By doing it this way and not running water directly over the berries, they stay intact and it's easier to find and toss out bad berries or leaves.
Fill your freshly washed berries into a colander to rid of excess water. Shake gently.
Step two: mash, mash, mash!
I have two mashers in my kitchen and trying both, we found we absolutely loved how well (and quickly!) the potato masher worked.
Once your berries have been pressed and softened, it's time to add them to your mixture of sugar and pectin (read the box for exact measurements).
Step four: stir!
Our recipe called for stirring constantly for three minutes. So I enlisted help from a sweet, chubby fingered little girl, who couldn't wait to help mommy & grandma.
Step five: DONE! Yes, seriously...that's it!
Pour jam into jars and let sit for 30 minutes before placing one into your fridge, the rest into the freezer.
As for the Sure Jell brand, it's still fantastic jam and if you like it on the sweeter side, this one is probably for you.
The extra step of cooking on the stove only added a few minutes to making our batches. It really wasn't a big deal, though I was really impressed at the simplicity of Ball.
Sure Jell also has a little thicker consistency.
//// have you made jam or canned anything yourself? Tell me! I'm dying to try more! ////