Unlike those found at the supermarket, most homemade jams contain two ingredients: sugar and fruit. In essence, jams are preserved fruits. When the fruit is in good condition, it contains acids and a natural agent known as pectin which is a natural setting agent. When boiled together with sugar, the pectin and acid combines to form a mass. This mass eventually reaches a setting point.
In order for your jam to come out perfectly, the fruits should not be damaged or decayed and completely dry. Dampness will make the jam dilute and render the acid less active. Over ripe fruits do not contain as much acid or pectin as under ripe fruits but you can make up for the deficiency by adding some lemon juice.
If you are drowning in fresh fruits, you can make a huge batch of jam on the stove, but if your day is completely jam-packed, it is also possible to make a batch quickly in the microwave after which you can simply store it in the refrigerator.
Making homemade jam requires no special equipment and takes approximately 30 minutes from start to finish. To test if your jam has reduced well enough to reach the setting point when it cools you can use a simple method known as the plate and wrinkle method.
Place a tablespoon of jam on a plate and put in the freezer for about 2 minutes. When you take it out, it should have formed a skin on the top which when pushed with a finger will wrinkle.
Homemade jam is a great and tasty addition to your food storage
Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe
• 4 Cups rhubarb
• 1/2 lb strawberries
• 1 big apple
• 4 Cups sugar
• 1 big lemon (juice only)
1. Peel, and chop rhubarb into 1 inch pieces then clean them.
2. Chop the strawberries and apple but do not peel them. (Apples contain a lot of pectin while strawberries are very watery, so the peel will help your jam to thicken
3. Pour lemon juice, all the fruits and sugar in a large pot then cook for about 30 minutes, or until the desired thickness is attained.
4. Take the pot off the fire then crush the jam with a hand blender to make it smooth.
5. Pour the hot jam in warm jars and seal.