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I usually, not always, use Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin for my jam. The recipe booklet that I use is from 1975 when the liquid pectin came in bottles. Now the pectin comes in sealed envelopes and each envelope is equivalent to one half-bottle. As you can see, my recipe booklet is falling apart. The new recipe sheet that comes inside the packages now isn’t as comprehensive as the old one. I do not water-bath can my jam. There is enough sugar in it to act as a preservative. Using canning lids keeps air from getting in. When I was a child, my mother only used paraffin to cover the jam and many people still do it that way.

  • This is how I prep for a jam-making session
  • Set out enough sanitized jars and rings to match the yield of the recipe, either pints, cups, or half-cups.
  • Put the appropriate number of lids into a small saucepan of water over low heat.
  • Set out my canning funnel, a ladle, metal serving spoon, and small dish.
  • Cut open the envelope of Certo and set it in the small dish.
  • [The small dish is for the foam (which is just as delicious as the jam, only foamy)]
  • Strawberry or Blackberry or Dewberry or Boysenberry or Youngberry Jam
  • Yield 8 cups (5 lb.)
  • 4 cups prepared fruit (about 2 qt. fully ripe berries)*
  • 7 cups (3 lb.) sugar
  • 1 envelope Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

First, prepare fruit. Crush completely, one layer at a time, about 2 quarts fully ripe berries. (If desired, sieve half of pulp to remove some of the seeds.) Measure 4 cups into a very LARGE saucepan. *(With strawberries, or other berries lacking tartness, use 3-3/4 cups fruit and add 1/4 cup lemon juice.) Stir in sugar and mix well.

Over high heat, bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; at once stir in Certo. Skim the foam off with a metal spoon. Continue to stir and skim. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/2″ room at the top.

Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the lids. Turn the jars upside down for at least thirty minutes (or as long as hours and hours–doesn’t matter). If the fruit is floating, give the jars a shake every once in awhile. Turn the jars right side up and let cool completely before marking and storing.

Many times it can take more than a day for the jam to set. Try not to worry. If it really does not set, then you have a nice batch of syrup or you can try to process it again. I have never done that, I just go the syrup route. C’est la vie.