Here is afull jam making tutorial and recipe for Marion’s Plum Mad about Blueberry Jam

jam finished

Marion’s Plum Mad About Blueberry Jam
yields 6-7 half pint (8 oz) jars

3 cups plums, washed and pitted
3 cups marionberries, washed
3 cups blueberries, washed
4 cups sugar
juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp. pectin

Roughly chop plums (with skins on) and marionberries. Combine fruit in a large stock pot. Add the sugar (reserving 1/2 cup) and the lemon juice, and cook over medium heat, stirring often.

Once it comes to simmer crush up the fruit, gently, with a potato masher. I like my jam chunky, so I don’t crush it up too much, but this is your call. By crushing up the fruit we also release some of the natural pectin in it, which interacts with the acidity in the lemon juice, helping it gel.

Around now I toss a saucer or small plate in the freezer to get it cold.

Once the jam comes to a boil, mix up my remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the pectin, so the pectin doesn’t clump. This is added to the jam and mixed well to combine. Lower the heat to medium and let the jam bubble and burp for about 15-20 minutes, stirring continuously, until it begins to thicken.

Using the cold saucer, check a spoonful of jam for the wrinkle test. Once the jam is set, you can start to fill your jars. If your jam has a lot of foam on the top of it, skim it off as best you can.

Fill sterilized jars and process according to manufacturer’s directions.


Vanilla Bing Jam

Makes 4 1/2 pints

4 lbs of chopped Bing cherries, weighed after pitting
juice of 1 medium lemon
2 cups of sugar
1 box of pectin (1.75 oz)
2 large vanilla beans

Place chopped cherries in a stockpot and combine with lemon juice. It’s very easy to chop the cherries with a food processor. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until cherries begin to break down and release a lot of juice.

In a small bowl, combine sugar with pectin and add to cherries after initial cook time. Combine well, stirring often and bring to a low boil. Once mixture comes to a boil, slice open vanilla beans and scrape seeds into jam. Continue cooking until it begins to thicken, about 15-20 minutes.

Test for gel by spooning a bit of jam on a plate and putting it in the freezer for 1 minute. After the minute, remove it from the freezer and push the edge with your finger. If it wrinkles up from the pressure of your finger, it is ready. If not, let it cook for 3 minute intervals, checking the gel after each interval.

Spoon hot jam into sterilized canning jars and follow good canning practices for storing your jam. Let jam sit for at least 12 hours to set up.

*Alternately, you can use pure vanilla extract, 1 teas. added after jam reaches gelling consistency.
**For the Rainier variation, sub Rainiers for the Bings and omit the vanilla.


Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

It’s a pretty quick recipe. I made two batches of it for my 8 half-pint yield.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Yields 4 half-pint (8 oz) jars

1 1/2 lbs. strawberries, rinsed, hulled and chopped
1 lb. rhubarb, rinsed and chopped (add one more stalk if you want a bit more tang)
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp. plus one teas. lemon juice
2 tbsp. pectin

Combine strawberries, rhubarb and sugar in a large bowl and let it macerate for one hour. Transfer mixture to a stock pot, add lemon juice and pectin and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, mash with a potato masher until chunky. Lower heat slightly and stir frequently, cooking until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10-15 minutes.

Check gel of jam by placing a teaspoon of jam on a plate and put in freezer for 1 minute. If jam is thick and develops a thin skin in the freezer, you are ready! Follow good canning practices for storing your jam. Let jam sit for 12 hours to set properly before using.


Apple Butter

Original post here.

7 lbs apples, assorted varieties (I used Gala, Pinova, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith)
3 1/2 cups dark sugar
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 teas. ground ginger

Peel and chop up all of the apples. You could always peel them, cut them and then toss in the food processor to roughly chop. I like the hands on prep, so I peel them, cut them with my apple slicer and then chop the slices. Combine apples in a stock pot along with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon and mix well. Cook the apple mixture on medium heat until juices are boiling and apples become very soft and begin to break down, stirring often, about 25-30 minutes.

Process apple mixture in a food mill, processor or blender in batches until it is creamy and smooth.

Return to pot, lower heat a bit and add vanilla. You may wish to add more sugar (do so 1/4 cup at a time) or more spices, to taste. Be mindful that the spices will intensify after canning. Cook down until the mixture is thick and sticks well to a spatula or spoon.

Can according to manufacturers directions in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool completely. Makes 4 1/2 pints (I ended up with 7 -1/2 pint jars and 1 pint jar)


Sadly, the USDA does not recommend home canning of pumpkin butter. This is because pumpkin is low in acidity and has unpredictable water content, neither of which was optimal when canning. I did can my butter, to sterilize and seal it, but am keeping it in the fridge.

Pumpkin Butter

Original post here.

4 medium sugar pie pumpkins
2 cups of dark brown sugar
3 tbsp of molasses
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp of cinnamon

Start with the sugar pie pumpkins. Halved and seeded, place them cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment and baked them at 350 for a little over an hour.

After roasting them in the oven the flesh shrinks, making the skin easy to peel.

Once peeled, chop the flesh into chunks and put it in a large stock pot. Add the sugar and spices and simmer to combine. I chose to cook mine down a little more before just pureeing it, because some spots were harder than others.

Once all of the flesh was uniformly soft, I pureed the batch in my Vita-Mix then poured it back in the pot and adjusted sweetness/spices to taste. My goal was to get pumpkin pie filling flavor, but because the spices will really bloom as the butter sits, I didn’t want to go overboard and end up with spreadable potpourri.

Once the butter was ready, ladle it into jars and processed it in the hot water bath for 10 minutes. This made 4 pints of pumpkin butter.

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