I have always made my own jams and jellies. You just can’t match the taste of homemade jams and jellies. You don’t have to worry about what is in them. Jams and jellies are some of my favorite things to make. You can really experiment with the ingredients and come up with something entirely different. The only drawback was the standing over the large pot of boiling fruit, stirring constantly, with the hot steam blowing up at you. I always make my jams in an all day jamfest, ending up with enough jam to last all year and share with family and friends. Well, until recently. I have a new appliance, the Ball Jam Maker. I love this appliance. I can make jam every day if I want. No more setting aside a weekend to make jam, ending up too exhausted after to even think of making dinner. With this appliance, I just put everything into the pot, turn it on and go do something else until it beeps. Then pour the jam into jars, process it in a water bath and then let them cool. I don’t have to stand over a hot-pot of boiling fruit, stirring. The machine does it for me. I can use my own recipes, I just have to cut them in fourths. Who ever came up with this idea is brilliant. So since I was making jam this weekend, thought I would share some of my recipes. These are the regular recipes that I use to make regular batches. If you have one of these wonderful jam makers, just cut it into fourths.
4 cups chopped pitted sweet cherries
4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional – sometimes use it, sometimes don’t)
1 package of regular powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
In a large deep pot combine cherries, lemon juice and cinnamon, if using it. Mash all with a potato masher. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly(see what did I tell you) Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Discard foam. Ladle into hot jars, leaving about 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles with a knife. Wipe rim (the lids won’t seal properly, if rims are not wiped clean) Center hot lid onto op jar and screw band down until tight. Place jars into canner and make sure they are completely covered with hot water. Bring to boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove lid of canner and wait 5 minutes more. Remove jars and allow to cool to room temperature. Makes about 6 8 ounce jars of jam.
Note: I have also added 1/2 tsp. cloves or 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur to the recipe to get a different flavor.