How to Make Jam ~ Guest Post by Heather Christo of Heather Christo Cooks

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My original plan was to make jam this weekend and then write a post about it. I’ve made jam several times, and I know the time and effort that goes into it. When I saw Heather’s beautiful post full of gorgeous pictures, I thought–what a perfect tutorial! With that in mind, I decided to focus on making jam and asked Heather (whose husband I know from high school) if I could share her beautiful post to show you how to make jam yourself. You can find out more about Heather at the end of this article.

Here’s Heather…

Making jam was initially daunting and confusing to me. Well, let’s be serious it was completely intimidating and even down right scary. All that boiling water? All that goopy stuff. What’s that stuff called? Pectin?

So mostly I just “let” my mom do it for me.

Now that I have made jam the last several years, I can’t believe that my mom made all that jam for me! It is a total labor of love. But after a full day of jamming, I could not be more pleased to have all of this gorgeous jam to eat all winter long. In our case, there is also plenty for gifts throughout the year and over the holidays. (I will be sure to feature these types of “gifts” come the holidays.)

how to make jam

We made apricot jam, plum jam, blackberry jam, mixed berry and raspberry jam. Yes. It was a very busy day! But it was also special. My mom and I were able to spend the whole day together, (even if it was a sweaty, profanity laced day!) and my girls got to see how jam is made. (don’t worry, I didn’t swear when they were around- just when the boiling water spit at me ☺)

how to make jam

To my mom’s credit, we decided to bake homemade white bread simultaneously! I was slathering the skimmed off jam onto bread as quickly as the bread was coming  out of the oven, (but that post is for next week) All in all, it was a wonderful day and we are fully stocked for the winter!

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While we made all of those types of jam, I am including the recipe fro raspberry or blackberry. However you can use any fruit you want and the fruit/sugar/pectin ratio’s will be on the pectin container. Just follow my process below for (easy and foolproof) instructions on how to make jam!

Berry Jam, makes 8 cups
5 cups berries (crushed) (with raspberries this could be 7-8 cups, with blackberries with are denser, it will be 6-7 cups)
7 cups sugar
1 packet pectin

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

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Place clean jars and lids in the boiling water and let them boil in there while you make the jam.

Hand smash the berries, (I used a potato masher) until they are crushed and equal about 5 cups.

how to make jam

Place the berries in a large heavy pot over medium heat.

how to make jam

Bring the berries to a simmer and add the sugar.

how to make jam

Stir to combine.

Bring the berries and sugar to a rolling boil.

how to make jam

Add the pectin and stir to combine.

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Return the berries to a boil and then shut the heat off.

how to make jam

Using a ladle, skim the foam off of the top of the jam.

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(I treat the foam like freezer jam and keep it in the fridge for a few days for spreading on toast.)

how to make jam

Remove the lids and jars from the pot of water with tongs or canning tongs.

Ladle the jam into the jars, almost to the very top.

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how to make jam

Wipe the top of the jar with a damp cloth (make sure there is no jam on the seal.)

Place the lids on the jars and screw them shut.

how to make jam

Using the canning tongs, place the jars in a second big pot of boiling water and let them boil about 10 minutes.

how to make jam

Remove the jars from the boiling water and set them on a heat proof surface.

how to make jam

Leave the jars undisturbed for about 24 hours while the jam sets up.

Enjoy!

About Heather…

Heather Christo’s passion for food began as a child, when she learned to  cook as she helped her mother in the kitchen. Born and raised in a  large family in Seattle, her father was in politics, and her mother was a  classically French-trained cook. The combination of her parents created  massive-scale entertaining in the home for years. She grew up around  the constant excitement and energy of huge cocktail fundraisers and  elaborate dinner parties.

She graduated from the University of Washington as a Fine Arts major,  and promptly left for culinary school in San Francisco. She attended the  California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, and graduated with honors.  She was able to win an apprenticeship at one of San Francisco’s top  French restaurants which turned into a job as pastry chef.

Heather soon returned to Seattle, where she opened her own catering  company. She spent several years throwing spectacular cocktail and  dinner parties as well as serving as private chef for her Seattle  clients.

When Heather married several years ago, she hung up her chef’s coat to  start a family. Heather and her husband Pete have been blessed with two  beautiful young daughters, Olympia and Colette.  When you don’t find  Heather in the kitchen or the garden with her girls, she is focused on finishing a book dedicated to bringing back the ideals of classic entertaining, a how-to book that embraces both formal and casual entertaining—as long as the focus is fabulous food!

You can see more of Heather in recent issue’s of Seattle Home and  Lifestyle, Traditional Home, and House Beautiful as well as on the Better Show. Her recipes are frequently featured on Tastykitchen.com and photography on Tastespotting.com and Foodgawker.com.

Check out Heather’s website at Heather Christo Cooks!

*Thank you, Heather!


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