Reduced Sugar Mixed Berry Jam using Ball’s Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker.
I have this vision of myself as a wonderfully crafty Pinterest queen, able to fashion outfits out of curtains, planters out of vintage tins and with a pantry bursting at the seams with wonderful preserves, pickles and jams – made from homegrown fruit and vegetables of course.
Sadly, reality falls very far from this vision. I have practically zero skills in the craft department and although I am not completely inept when it comes to preserving, it is one of those things that I usually put on my to-do list then never find the time for.
Well no more. I now have no excuse to fulfil at least part of my crafty fantasy, thanks to the Ball Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker. This ingenious device is so easy to use that you can literally go from fruit to jam in about 30 minutes.
The prep work involves rinsing, cutting and crushing the fruit. You then add pectin – a natural gelling ingredient derived from fruit – to the Jam & Jelly maker, followed by the fruit, a little lemon juice and tiny bit of butter and turn the machine on.
The cooking starts immediately, then 4 minutes later there’s a beep to indicate when to add the sugar. Once the sugar is added, the cooking only takes 21 minutes, with all the stirring taken care of. No more burned jam and ruined pots for me, thank you very much.
Once the jam is ready, you remove the stirrer and simply ladle the jam into hot jars – I usually put them through the dishwasher and time it so that they are ready to use just as the jam cycle finishes. The process is genuinely so simple that I have made three different types of jam in two weeks!
I can’t wait to explore the more unusual recipes in the recipe book provided with the Jam & Jelly maker – like the Kiwi Lime Jam (I see a fancy pie/tart in my future) and Chile Jam.
But I have also gone off-book to make a literally addictive rhubarb and strawberry jam (see variation in recipe notes below), so I think you can experiment with recipes so long as you keep to the quantities specified in the instructions.
The joy of eating still-warm jam spread on a slice of sourdough bread cannot be measured, let’s just say I have made my kids incredibly happy.
Reduced Sugar Mixed Berry Jam
- 475 g | 16oz crushed sweet cherries
- 175 g | 6oz crushed strawberries
- 175 g | 6oz crushed raspberries
- 3 tbsp Ball® Low or no sugar jam setting mix with pectin
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp butter
- 455 g | 1lb granulated sugar
- Wash, stem and pit the cherries. Roughly cut them with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife and then measure the right quantity. Crush them roughly using a potato masher.
- Wash the berries. Hull and quarter the strawberries then measure the right quantity into a bowl with the raspberries. Crush with a potato masher as before.
- Sprinkle the pectin evenly over bottom of the appliance fitted with the stirrer.
- Add the crushed fruit evenly over pectin. Add the lemon juice and butter – this helps reduce any foaming.
- Press the jam button – the cook time will automatically default to 21 minutes – and then enter.
- The machine will start cooking the fruit – wait 4 minutes for appliance to sound 4 short beeps indicating that it is time to add sugar. Add sugar gradually while stirrer continues running. Cover the pot with the lid and keep an eye on it. The machine will beep when the jam is ready. Press cancel, unplug the appliance and remove the lid.
- Pour the jam into warmed jars and store in the fridge – consume within four weeks.