Jelly and Jam Recipes

----Recipes are linked below and will open in a new window for easy printing----

Jellies and jams are an excellent way to preserve fruit for long-term storage; lend themselves to a variety of uses; and are a good way to supplement your diet with healthy fruits, vitamins, and sugars. They can be used as a spread on bread, toast, biscuits, crackers, or waffles; a topping for ice cream or other desserts; or even used in meat sauces.

Jelly and jam is very simple and rewarding to make, but can be time- and space-consuming. You will most likely want to have a free day set aside and plenty of clean kitchen space for canning jellies. Necessary supplies include a large non-reactive pot, stainless, enameled or wooden spoon, cheesecloth, a masher, measuring cups, tongs, and of course jars with lids. You can get by with regular kitchen tongs, but purchase of a canning kit will make things much easier. A canning kit typically includes rubber-coated jar tongs, a wide-mouth canning funnel, a headspacing guage (for measuring how full the jar is -- essential for some canned products), and a magnetic wand for picking up the lids from your sterilizing pot. Canning pots are also available, but we have always gotten by with just a large stew or menudo pot. You may want to have at least two handy: One for your jelly and one to sterilize and process the jars. A canning rack for the bottom of your water-bath process is a good idea too, but I have gotten by without it, it is basically a circular wire rack, or a tray with holes. Any of these supplies can occasionally be found at yard sales, thrift stores, or from a relative.

Since any sweet soft fruit can be used to make jellies and jams, I have provided two standard recipes. The amount of pectin and sugar required for a good gel and a good flavor varies with the fruit. If the jelly did not gel within a few hours after you pour it into jars, you can reboil it with an extra tablespoon or more of pectin or sugar. Boil fruits in nonreactive containers, such as glass, stainless steel, or enamel-coated pots. Iron and copper pots may affect the color of the jelly and destroy vitamin C. Acidic fruits can corrode and pit the surface of aluminum and galvanized steel pots.

For instructions on sterilizing and canning jelly for long-term storage, refer to a cookbook or the instruction in a box of pectin. If you are making small batches of jelly to be eaten within a few weeks, you can just pour the jelly into a clean jar and store it in the refrigerator. You may also use much less sugar if you do not need to store the jelly for long-term.

Standard Jelly and Jam Recipes

Wild Grape

Prickly Pear Cactus

Edible Flowers

Turk's Cap Hibiscus

Persimmon Jam

Plum Jam