Homeowners with gardens often end up with an excess of vegetables when it’s time to harvest, and the same problem applies to those who love to can jam. Do you have row after row of jam stashed in your pantry?
You can give them out as gifts to friends, family, and co-workers, but still, you’re probably going to have an excessive amount of jam. So what can you do with it? There are only so many times you can eat toast.
Explore these creative ways for canners to use up a jar of jam and learn how to create jam!
Did you know that cheese and jam complement one another? They do! You’ll often find a compote, jelly, or jam on cheeseboards at restaurants because the savory nuttiness of cheese balances the sweetness of the fruit.
During these last warm-ish days of fall, you can treat your family to homemade popsicles. Add water to your jam to make it a thinner consistency and pour into popsicle molds.
While we’re in your freezer, you can also step up your sundae game at home. Turn regular vanilla ice cream into a strawberry sundae with a can of jam!
Maybe you want pancakes, but something a little different than the usual maple syrup to pour on top? Add water to your favorite jam and reduce it down on your stove to create a delicious syrup.
Fresh strawberries for shortcake are always great, but using strawberry jam might be even better. Fold it into the batter or spread it between the layers.
Remember what we said earlier about cheese? Smearing jam inside a grilled cheese can add an entirely new depth of flavor.
Stuffed French Toast
Make a jam sandwich on a soft bread like brioche. Whip together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl and dip the entire sandwich into the egg mixture. Place it on a pan to cook, and you’re about to discover something amazing.
You can basically enhance any dessert with a dollop of jam on top. Panna cotta, cake, or even brownies can reach a new level.
Make cocktail hour delicious again and shake jam with your favorite spirits to create fun cocktails. Peach jam and whiskey create a perfect summery cocktail, while blueberry and gin will help you acclimate to fall.
You can also use jam when you’re deglazing a pan after cooking steaks or pork chops. Reduce the jam down with red wine for a truly decadent dinner.
Again, here we are with the cheese and jam combination—it just works! Top a portion of creamy brie with a spoonful or two of jam, wrap it all in phyllo dough, and bake it in the oven for an indulgent masterpiece.
Why buy fruit-flavored yogurt from the store when you can easily make your own? Upgrade vanilla or Greek yogurt with a little bit of your favorite jam.
What Is Canning Jam?
Canning jam is a preservation process that involves placing the fruit into a glass jar and making it airtight by boiling or stealing the mason jar. It’s a process that intimidates even the best cooks because the idea of boiling glass jars seems counterintuitive to staying safe in the kitchen. But you’ll have amazing, and sometimes too many, jars of jam in your pantry that can last for up to a year.
Basics of Canning
You can undertake canning of any fruit or vegetable as long you have the right tools, like a canner. A canner is basically only a large pot with a metal rack to hold the jars.
Canning tools include:
- Glass jars
- Flat jar lids with bands
- Canner, or deep pot
- Canning rack
- Headspace measuring tool, or tape measure
- Canning tongs
After you’ve gathered your tools, you should gather all your canning ingredients. You’ll need several pounds of fruit, like peaches, plums, or strawberries, in addition to sugar, lemon juice, and salt.
Canning Safety Tips
Before beginning, you’ll want to check the jars and lids for any cracks, scratches, or chips. After heating the jars, you need to give them time to cool down completely before placing them on a kitchen counter. The glass will be fragile after heating and could crack on the hard surface. Place them on a dishtowel or cooling rack.
And while you can reuse the glass jars and bands, you can only use the lids once. Why? When you’re done canning the jam and you open the jar to eat its contents, the lid will pop open and become curved. You always need a flat lid to ensure the jar is hermetically sealed.
With all your tools and ingredients gathered and keeping the safety tips in mind, you can begin canning your jam!
Wash the jars, lids, and bands thoroughly. Then, place the jars in a large pot, cover with water, and simmer. Set the lids and bands in another pot of water of simmering water; leave them until you’re ready to use them.
In another stockpot, combine the fruit, salt, sugar, and lemon juice on the stove on high heat.
Once the ingredients begin to boil, mash them a potato masher and skim any scum that accumulates on the top.
Keep boiling, mashing, and skimming for about 10 minutes until bubbles appear and the mixture clings to the back of a spoon, but still falls off in large chunks. You can remove any floating skin with a fork.
Lift the jars out of the hot water with the canning tongs and place them on a dishtowel or cooling rack. Spoon or ladle the hot jam into the jars with a funnel, leaving a half inch of headspace.
Clean off the jar with another towel and remove the lid and band from the hot water. Place the lid on first and then tighten with the band.
After you’ve filled and sealed the jars, place them onto the metal canning rack and lower them into the stockpot with hot water. Once the water begins to boil, set a timer for 10 minutes, keeping a steady boil.
Remove the jars from the pot and set them on a cooling rack or dishtowel. Let them cool for 12 to 24 hours.
After they’ve cooled, press on the center of the lids to see if the seal is tight. If the lid doesn’t pop up, remove the bands, and you’ve now got jam!
Order Jam Online
There are so many creative ways for canners to use up a jar of jam! You can try canning your own or order jam online with Sohnrey Family Foods!