Summer Fruit Jam

by: Michelle Karshneski

In our busy and hi-tech lives, it's tough to find a commercial jam or preserve that appeals to our senses. I think we tend to forget how easy it is to make our own brand of preserves. I'll admit, I was caught up in work without ever a thought to putting up my own preserves, until one day, I felt creative. I was especially excited when I learned that small batches of jam could be made without spending hours over a hot stove. I was thrilled at the chance to make a natural and fruit-filled jam that could be enjoyed throughout the year.

I started with something "different". It's not the typical flavor you would see on the grocer's shelves but I think that's what appealed to me. I love summer fruits and would like to share this recipe with you!

Summer Fruit Jam:

  • 2-1/4 pounds strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 8 ounces red currents
  • 8 ounces raspberries, washed and hulled
  • 4-1/2 cups granulated sugar

Wash and prepare the fruit, place in bowl and sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. After "marinating" the fruit, pour it into a large saucepan with 4 Tablespoons of tap water. Simmer over a low flame until the fruit becomes tender. Add the remaining sugar and stir over a low heat until dissolved. Bring to a boil and let it roll for approximately 15 minutes. This should bring the mixture to a jell point and read 220°F on a candy thermometer. Remove any foam with a slotted spoon.

Allow the jam to cool about 5 minutes and then spoon into your hot jelly jars. I find using a funnel reduces the mess! Leave 1/8 inch (one eighth inch) at the top of the jar so it can "breath". Wipe away any excess from the rims, place the metal lid (kept in hot water until needed), and finish with the screw ring.

I found the best way to prepare the jars is to wash and rinse them thoroughly, put them up side down on a cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes to sterilize them. Make sure you use caution when handling the jars - they will be extremely hot!

After the jars are filled, leave them set up side down on your counter until cooled. Once cooled, check the tops to make sure a seal was made. If the lid springs back when pressed by your finger, the lid did not seal and the jar will need to be refrigerated and used first.

I've modified this recipe a couple of times. I like using this recipe for strawberries and raspberries but the currents do give it a nice "zing". This tastes especially nice on a warm piece of bread or a scone! Enjoy! And, remember how wonderfully simple it is to create and delight in your own jams and preserves.