Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam is the very first recipe in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, page 8, and for good reason. It’s a delicious, but simple recipe and a great place to start if you are just learning to can. Most fruit and berry jams with added pectin are done very similarly to this, so it’s definitely a great first recipe. We actually had a first time canner with us on this adventure and I think it was a great success – we made 30 jars for wedding favours for Kiki’s upcoming wedding! While Oregon berries aren’t ready just yet, California ones are coming in hot!

IMG_1677 copy

8 ish cups whole strawberries
7 cups granulated sugar
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin

Here’s how we made it:
Prepare the canner, jars and lids. This recipe will yield around 8 half pints. Doubling jam isn’t usually recommended because it can affect the set of your jam, so we did multiple batches of this jam instead, one with added vanilla for a fun twist!

Measure the sugar into a bowl and set it aside so it can be added all at once when it is time. Does this sound like too much sugar to you? Ya, me too. Luckily Ball and other companies also have low and no sugar pectin. Get a jar of that and follow those directions for lower sugar jams. The Ball one at least works for anywhere from no sugar to a half cup per two jar batch. So 1/4 cup per half pint jar. But it’s flexible which is super awesome. The instructions work for anywhere from 2-10 jars and sugar is adjustable. Those delicious local berries really don’t need much added sugar so being able to add it to taste is great.

Rinse the berries, and hull them. One layer at a time, mash the berries with a potato masher, and pour the mash into a liquid measuring cup. You want 5 cups of mashed berries total. Crazy Kiki didn’t have a potato masher so you can also use the blender. But you DO NOT want a puree. You want a chunky mash, so just do maybe a cup of berries at a time and give it a quick pulse.

IMG_1685 copy

Once you have 5 cups of mash in a large pot add your lemon juice, and whisk in the pectin to dissolve. If you want a fun modification of this recipe, you can add a half of a vanilla bean at this point to make strawberry vanilla jam. Just put it in now and remove before filling the jars.

IMG_1702 copy

Turn the burner on to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Once at a full rolling boil, add the sugar all at once. Return to a full rolling boil that you can’t stir down. Time one minute of boil, stirring constantly. After one minute, remove the jam from the heat, and skim off any foam. This jam tends to get quite foamy so it’s actually worth it to skim.

IMG_1716 copy

Remove the hot jars from the canner, and fill each jar, leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe the rims, apply the lids finger tip tight, and place the jars in the canner covered by at least 1-2 inches of water.

photo 2 copy

Process the jars for 10 minutes, starting the time when the water is at a full rolling boil. After 10 minutes turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, and wait 5 minutes before removing the jars to a hot pad or towel. Leave the jars undisturbed for 12-24 hours, check the seals, remove the bands, wipe clean, label and store.

photo 3 copy

*this post contains affiliate links, please see the “About the Blogger” page for more information

Rhubarb Orange Jam

I’ve been itching to can with the warm weather we’ve been having, but there is not too much in season quite yet. One thing that is ready to go though is rhubarb! So I cracked open my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, looked up rhubarb in the glossary and found this rhubarb orange jam recipe. I went full sugar for this recipe, since rhubarb and orange sounded like quite the tart combination, but you rhubarb lovers are welcome to pick up a box of low sugar pectin if you so desire. It’s really quite a delicious combination of sweet and tart. I enjoyed my little bit of leftovers on an English muffin.

IMG_1616 copy

This recipe yields 7 half pints.

2 oranges
5 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1 package fruit pectin
6 cups sugar

IMG_1589 copy

Here’s how it’s done. This is a nice and easy pectin jam, and dang is it delicious!

First prepare your canner, jars, and lids. This recipe is a quick one.

Finely chop the rhubarb. Peel one half of one of the oranges and chop the peel finely. Juice the two oranges and measure the juice. You want at least a full cup, so if you don’t have quite enough top it off with a bit of water.

Combine the orange juice, rhubarb and pectin in a large pot. Stir to dissolve the pectin.

IMG_1598 copy

Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once at a full boil add the sugar all at once. I let it boil a minute or two before adding the sugar, just to get the rhubarb nice and soft.

IMG_1606 copy

Bring the mixture back to a full boil. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Once at a full boil, time one minute of hard boiling. Remove from heat.

IMG_1608 copy

Fill the jars, leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe the rims, apply the lids, and tighten the bands finger tip tight. Place the full jars in the canner, covered by at least one inch of water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel.

IMG_1612 copy

Isn’t that a gorgeous jam!?

Let the jars cool 12-24 hours, check the seals, remove the bands, label and store. This jam is delicious and so easy! If you have the canning itch too, make it, you won’t regret it.

IMG_1639 copy

*this post contains affiliate links, please see the “About the Blogger” page for more information

Countin’ your cans… for bragging rights, and a purpose

OK, so it may seem like I’m just doing this post to brag about the abundance of goodies in my overflowing pantry, but I swear there is also a purpose beyond making you jealous of me. Why keep a tally of how much you can each year? Well I’ll tell you why. My first year canning, I discovered in February that I only had three jars of salsa left! THE HORROR! I couldn’t make more until August! I never should have shared that red gold with anyone; it is too delicious. So last year, I canned 82 pints of it. HA! That’s not even hyperbole – but, when I do salsa I go big with the batches and split it with a friend, so 40 or so of those went into my pantry. Point is, are 40 pints of salsa going to get me through until I can make more? So far so good! I’ll let you know if it lasts. So, to get to my point at last. Do you have any idea how many jars of something you eat in a year? Are you always kicking yourself come late winter saying, “I wish I canned more ____!!”? This year keep a tally with me. I promise it’s not a contest, but if it were I think I’d place pretty well 😉 Here’s my canning closet in early November, when the bulk of the real canning season was over.

canning closet
Here she is, the 2013 canning list, just shy of 500 jars

Jams – 95
16 half pints strawberry jam
17 half pints strawberry rhubarb jam
6 half pints raspberry jam
9 half pints blueberry jam
8 half pints fig strawberry jam
8 half pints apricot jam
8 pints strawberry Pinot noir jam
6 pints blackberry cinnamon tequila jam
17 pints spiced cranberry jam

Who in their right mind needs 95 jars of jam!? No one, absolutely no one! Now having said that, these make excellent gifts. 5 went to my nana for her birthday, many went to family members for Christmas, a few went as wedding presents etc. You can have too much jam, but you’ll never have it go to waste.

Pie Filling
11 quarts strawberry rhubarb pie filling
17 quarts blueberry pie filling

Ya eating 28 pies is a lot, but when you are scrambling two hours before a potluck wondering what the heck to bring, man will you be glad for home canned pie fillings.

Pickles and Relishes
28 pints pickles
7 pints pickled asparagus
14 pints pickled carrots
6 quarts pickled beets
8 pints spicy dilly beans
8 pints zesty zucchini relish

You can never have too many pickled goods. They make a good snack, a nice treat to bring to ladies wine night, or a great topping. And this is coming from someone who a few years ago would pick the pickles off her burgers at a restaurant.

Fruits and Fruit Juices
15 quarts peaches in syrup
7 pints applesauce
5 quarts cranberry juice
10 pints of strawberry lemonade concentrate

I need to get more into fruit things, this area is actually kind of lacking for me. But dang I really like making the juices, SO GOOD.

Tomato Products
82 pints salsa
10 pints salsa verde
29 pints tomato sauce
8 quarts crushed tomatoes
5 pints country western ketchup

My favourite category for sure – always can have more tomatoes!

Pressure Canning
14 pints beans
64 half pints tuna
10pints chicken stock
6 quarts pressure canned beets
20 half pints corn

Always great to have these things on hand for a quick meal!

Overall, I think I need to add more savoury to my sweet this year, but I’m pretty proud of this list! What canned goods do you always run out of first? Keep track with me this year so you can better gauge how much you eat, and how much to make of your favourites.

Spiced Cranberry Jam

Christmas time means cranberries! They are on sale and we always end up with too many. So, with all those leftover cranberries we made spiced cranberry jam! If you have leftover cranberry sauce, or leftover cranberries, this is a great way to use them. Thanks to Marisa from food in jars for this recipe.

3 pounds fresh cranberries
3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups apple cider
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Here’s how we made it:

Rinse the cranberries in a colander.


In a large pot combine the cranberries, apple cider, juices, zest and sugar. Heat over high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Cook until most of the cranberries have popped and the mixture begins to thicken. Meanwhile prepare the canner, jars and lids with 9 or 10 half pint jars.


Once most of the cranberries have popped add in the spices and adjust to taste if you desire.


Continue to thicken to the desired consistency.


Fill hot jars leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe rims, place the lids on the jars and tighten finger tip tight. Place jars in canner, ensuring that they are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel.


Wait 12-24 hours, remove the lids, wipe down the jars and store! Makes the perfect holiday gift for someone you love.


Blackberry Cinnamon Tequila Jam

It’s blackberry season here in the Pacific Northwest, and mama and I sure took advantage of it with this jam. For this recipe we used the sure jell less sugar pectin, but you can use whatever pectin you prefer and adjust the sugar (more or less as you so desire, according to the package). And that’s the beauty of home made! We found the idea for the flavour mixing here. Check it out, it’s an awesome chart! Thanks Erica! Here it is pictured on ice cream. Oh baby!


5 pints blackberries
4 cups sugar
1 box sure jell less sugar needed pectin
1.5 tbsp tequila
1/4 tsp cinnamon

The flavour of the cinnamon and tequila both go a long way, so try these amounts first before adding too much more.

Here is what we did:

Prepare the canner, jars and lids. The recipe will yield 7ish half pints.

Pick the berries, then wash them.


Mash them up with a potato masher.


Mix the pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar and mix it in.


Add in the tequila…. Feel free to put an extra bit in your mouth. This can also be added at the end if you prefer.


and the cinnamon…


Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. So rapid it’s a blur!

Once at a full boil, add the rest of the sugar and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.


Fill the hot jars leaving an 1/4 – 1/8 inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and tighten the bands finger tip tight. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner, covered by at least 1-2 inches of water.


After the 10 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes and remove the jars on to a towel or hot pad. Check the seals after 12-24 hours when they are cool. Remove the bands, wipe down, label and store. mmm mmm good. Enjoy on ice cream, scones, whatever!


Blackberry Cinnamon Tequila Jam on Punk Domestics

Strawberry Pinot Noir Jam

After the tuna fest, we needed an easy canning project. Something with a short processing time, and something to get the smell of tuna out of the house. This delicious jam did just the trick. Strawberries, gooood. Wine, goooood. Together, oh so good! Believe it or not we actually picked these berries. In September! I know eh? Crazy madness! Anyways, we picked them locally at Fairfield Farm. Which I was going to keep as a secret, but dang I guess I just spilled the beans. The berries were delicious but I am both happy and sad that they were all used for this jam. Might have to go again before they are all gone.


This is a pectin free jam so it cooks down for quite a while, but it’s good that is does because it makes the house smell so darn good. I got this recipe from a friend who found it on this liquor store’s website.

14 cups of strawberries
1 bottle of Pinot Noir
2.5 cups sugar
1 lemon, juiced

For best results, make this jam over two days. The first day wash and hull the strawberries. Combine them with the sugar, wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Either mash the berries a little or cut the larger ones in half or quarters. After boiling for 10 minutes or so, turn off the heat, cool the mixture and store over night. I imagine that you could do the rest of the process now if you want, but to get the berries good and infused with wine, soak overnight.


The next day, strain the liquid into the pot and leave the strawberries aside. Reduce that over medium high heat for about 30 minutes, or reduction by about a half. It should reach 215F if you have a thermometer. Then add in the strawberries and continue to cook. I mashed them a little more at this point but you don’t have to. Continue to reduce for about 15 or so more minutes. I did longer I think and still ended up with more than the recipe said I would get which was odd. But get the jam either to 212F if you have a thermometer or until it’s reached a good gel stage (test it on a cold metal spoon or whatever your preferred jam test is).


While it reduces, prepare the canner, jars and lids. I got almost 8 half pints, the recipe says you’ll get 6. Mmm look at that delicious jam.


Fill the hot jars leaving a half inch head space. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and tighten the bands finger tip tight.



Place the jars in the canner covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.


Once the 10 minutes is up, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, and remove the jars to a towel or hot pad. Listen for the jars to go ping. 🙂


Enjoy this delightful treat whenever you desire. It makes a great gift, although it may be hard to say goodbye once you’ve tasted it.