Jam is usually made by steaming or boiling but you can also make it in a crockpot because slow cooking ensures the jam cooks evenly at a stable temperature. You can use various kinds of fruit to make jam and you can add more flavor with spices, herbs or fruit juice. You can choose from jam, jelly, and preserves. Jelly tends to be smooth, jam has pieces of fruit in it, and preserves contain fruit chunks.
If there is some fruit on sale at your local store or you have grown some berries yourself or somebody has given you some, making jam is a great way to use up the fruit and turn it into something mouthwatering and crockpot jam recipes are really delicious. Learning how to make jam in a crockpot is very simple too.
Once your jam is ready, keep it in the freezer if you want it quite firm or in the refrigerator if you want it runny. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or in the freezer for a few months.
Recipe for Strawberry Jam
To make strawberry jam, you will need three cups of sugar, four pounds of fresh strawberries and a couple of boxes of pectin. Wash the berries and remove the stems. Cut them into quarters and add them to the crockpot.
A potato masher is good for squishing the strawberries and getting their liquid out. You can also use a hand mixer attachment. Add one box of pectin and all the sugar and mash the berries a little more, then cover the slow cooker and cook them for about ten hours. If the strawberries are not gelled, you can add more pectin.
If you want to use another fruit to make the jam, that is fine. Bear in mind that some fruits, such as apricots, are naturally high in pectin and you will not have to add any pectin to make the jam gel. This applies whether you are using fresh apricots or dried ones.
Recipe for Apricot Jam
Chop one and a quarter pounds of dried apricots finely, then add them to a crockpot with two cups of sugar and three and a half cups of water. Stir well and cover the crockpot. Cook for two and a half hours, stirring the mixture a few times. Add half a teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of lemon juice and cook covered for two hours more, stirring occasionally, or until the jam has thickened.
Ladle the apricot jam into hot, clean jam jars and seal them tightly. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month. If you use a boiling water bath or canner to process the jars they will last longer. This recipe makes about five pint jars of apricot jam.
Homemade jam in a crockpot can be used in the same way as regular jam. Make sandwiches with peanut butter and jam, spread it over waffles, pancakes, or French toast, or decorate ice cream with it. Jam also makes an unusual gift, especially if you use decorative jars and tie a ribbon around them. A cute homemade label is the perfect finishing touch. Whether you give your homemade crockpot jam recipes as a gift or enjoy them yourself, you will have fun making this delicious recipe.
Photo Credit: Jam end-product by treehouse1977, on Flickr
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