Jam is something that used to intimidate me. Sort of like canning. But, let me just say that jam is so easy to make. (Canning is easy too. But we’ll talk about that another day.) There are a few “jam secrets” that I learned from my mom and they really make all the difference. Thanks mom!
1) Follow exact instructions on the box of pectin. Don’t substitute or reduce sugar or jam will not turn out, or as the MCP Pectin instructions put it “failure.”
2) Use MCP Pectin. That brand works wonders. Don’t know specifically why it is better than others, but it just is. It’s like how I can’t explain why chocolate is so good. It just is.
3) Measure ingredients very precisely. It is important. Sort of like how it is important to always keep chocolate in the treat cupboard.
4) Using a KitchenAid really helps. Totally not necessary, but really helps since you end up mixing the jam every five minutes for a half an hour.
5) If recipe calls for lemon juice, bottled Minute Maid frozen lemon juice (thawed) or fresh lemon juice works best. I like to use fresh because, well, it is fresh. ‘Nough said.
6) If using fruit that darkens, sprinkle fruit fresh on fruit mixture after adding pectin. Makes the jam more “purdy.” (Pretty, for all those of you who don’t speak “country.”)