By: Autumn Gillis

Definition of Jams and Jellies

A jam or jelly

is a sweet, clear, semisolid, somewhat elastic spread or preserve made from fruit juice and sugar boiled to a thick consistency.

About Jelly and jam

The ingredients that are in the most basic forms of jelly include fruit, sugar and pectin, which allows the jelly to form a gel like substance. In commercial jelly, preservatives may be added and additional substances can be added to enhance and increase the flavor of the jelly.

  1. Fruit - preferably fresh, but frozen (without syrup works, too)
  2. Pectin - 1 package (box usually) or if you get it in bulk, 8 Tablespoons, see the directions below for specifics - (it's a natural product, made from apples and available at grocery stores (season - spring through late summer) and local "big box" stores. It usually goes for about $2.00 to $2.50 per box. You'll get best results with no-sugar needed pectin, whether you choose to add sugar or not!
  3. Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the jar grabber.
  4. Sugar - About 4 cups of dry, granulated (table) sugar. Yes, you can substitute an equivalent amount of honey or agave.
  5. Lemon juice - 1/4 cup per batch. While it is not always necessary , as many fruits and berries have sufficient acidity to ensure a good gel I usually add it, just to make sure.

Step 1 - Pick the berries! (or buy them already picked)

Step 2 - Wash the jars and lids

Step 3 -Wash and hull the fruit!

Step 4 - Crush the fruit

Step 5 - Measure out the sugar

Step 6 - Mix the berries with the pectin and cook to a full boil

Step 7 - Get the lids warming in hot (but not boiling) water

Step 8 - Add the remaining sugar and bring to a boil again for 1 minute

Step 9 - Skim any excessive foam

Step 10 - Testing for "jell" (thickness)

Step 11 - Optional: Let stand for 5 minutes and stir completely.

Step 12 - Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on

Step 13 - Process the jars in the boiling water bath

Step 14 - Remove and cool the jars - Done!


Note: Recipe directions are for original size.

2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled

4 cups white sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

Add all ingredients to list


  • Cook 20 m Ready In 40 m

  1. In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.