Any Jam Makers or Home Canners Out There?

Yes to the sub of Sure Jell Light. Also you’ll want to ensure the water in the water bath has cooled down to warm so the temperature differential won’t cause the jars to break. Been there. Just re-read your post - Ball can be used interchangeably with Sure Jell - light to light or regular to regular. Good luck!

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Is this right?

“Don’t be tempted to substitute different pectin products”

It says “Do not vary the sequence in which the ingredients are added. For example, powdered pectin does not dissolve in a sugared solution, so if you add the sugar and then the dry pectin, the jam will not be firm.”

All good!


Great it turned out! When substituting the products, just go with the specific directions for the product you’re using. Jam making is forgiving as long as you follow the basic guidelines. Especially boil times, and such like that. It seems intimidating at times, but you will get a feel for it after awhile. Success = confidence. Let us know how the end product turns out.
Taste wise, that is.

Thank you! Taste wise it’s pretty close to ideal, but I kept messing with it, and I’m not sure what all I did.

I made jam from eight cups of mostly tangerine ( and some cara cara orange, grapefruit, and Meyer Lemon) puree, and eight cups was definitely not my small batch goal, but I had eight cups of puree from neighbor’s tree and the like.

I wish I had made three or four batches, each a little different, but aside from the labor, sugar and lids, it was low cost experiment, so I’m okay with it.


Oh good - it looks wonderful, and always a bonus to use up surplus fruit.

I do a lot of canning, pickling, fermenting, jelly/jam-making etc. There are some tips that I’ve learned over the years which apply to jelly/jam making in particular:

While some fruits, like raspberries, blueberries and others taste fine after a longer cooking time, some fruits suffer a LOT and don’t taste like the fresh fruit if cooked too long, prior to canning. Passion fruit is one of these which benefits from a short cooking time. Trust me, I’ve made tons of it and here’s the scoop:

Measure out the amount of sugar you need for the recipe and put it in the oven. Heat the sugar to around 118°-200°F in an ovenproof pan or bowl. Make sure the sugar is just below the boiling point of water (212°F at sea level) This preheating of the sugar prevents a long re-heat after the sugar is added, resulting in a faster re-boil and a fresher fruit taste.

I keep the canning jars simmering under water, until needed. With an ACIDIC jelly/jam, if the product is full sugar and simmering when you ladle it into a scalding-hot jar, it can be wiped, sealed tightly immediately and turned upside-down to sterilize the upper section. It’s important that the jam/jelly is simmering for this non-water bath approach because the high-sugar mixture is hotter than boiling water. If everything is done as described, the jam/jelly should be around 220–222°F. They may cool slightly once the product gets in the jar, but it should still be above boiling. You’ll need heat proof mitts to handle such hot jars.

Sure, you can water bath the jam/jelly if you wish to be extra careful; but I’ve had no issues as long as everything was as described above. For Passionfruit, which is normally quite acidic, you can add some lime juice if you get some of the lower acid types, like the native Maypop, Passiflora incarnata. P. edulis has two major types: P. edulis flavicarpa, often called “Maracuya” in Peru, is intensely acidic with a yellow skin on the fruit. The typical P. edulis with purple-skinned fruits may benefit from lime/lemon juice. If Passion fruit is cooked too much, it still tastes good, more like guava. The stuff I make tastes like sweet, fresh Passion fruit, using preheated sugar and the bath-free canning described above.

If you try the preheated sugar method and opt to water bath, please report on the results, especially if you try one bath and one without. I’ve not tried the water bath with Passion fruit because the simmering-pack has worked so well.

In any case, if you preheat the sugar you will decrease the processing time and get a product tasting more like fresh fruit.


First off. Let me say Lambchop is right - a little experience will help you get a feel for all this. & remeber, the worst thing that can happen id it doesnt set. & if it doesnt set you dump it back in the pot, wash the jars, reheat the jam and add another box of pectin.

As far as the amount of pectin, thats how i do it zest or no zest. I only use Sure-Jell low sugar in the pink box or DutchJell Lite which we buy in 10# lots. We make a LOT of jam.

& yes the 2nd batch jam can sit in the measuring cup intill you’re ready for it.

Bogman is correct - the less you cook it the more fresh fruit flavor it has. You can make jam without pectin but usually you have to cook the jam so long to get to the jellying point that the flavor is really gone. Cranberry jam is an exceptio. Cranberries have so much pectin you have to add water.


Actually, im going to make a batch of marmalade today. Maybe ill take some pics.


Echoing @JoeBabbitt that Sure Jell Light is my much preferred product to use. Sometimes I use Ball if the store is sold out of Sure Jell.

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Thank you, and thanks all! I’ve been making jam and jelly for at least 20 +years, so I am hopeful that I will soon have enough experience! But I’ve never made ( nor seen!) tangerine jam.

I’ve not used the Ball pectin in the container much, but I like being able to use less than a box, and close it back up.

@JoeBabbitt , a few years ago you suggested Dutch Jell,

and used it that way too. Then I read somewhere you shouldn’t use it after a year. Last year folks said they didn’t have problems using old pectin, so who knows?

This batch came out a little stiffer than I wanted, but I prefer that to syrup, and to washing the jars and starting over!

I probably won’t stop researching and asking questions though, especially with regard to why things work the way they do, or when there is conflicting information.

I do prefer the fresher taste you get when using pectin, or when I’m just making a two or three jars and can store in the refrigerator, but citrus jam and jelly is sort of new for me, and I had a lot of tangerines.

And now I have a lot of tangerine jam!

@Lambchop , those are your bottles out in front!

@JoeBabbitt , if you make some marmalade, I would love to see pictures, especially if the set. I know people vary with regard to how stiff they like there jam.

@bogman , so reassuring to read the details of and confidence you have about skipping the hot water bath. I give most of mine away, but will definitely try that when I am just making a few bottles for myself. And I love the preheated sugar idea!


I love citrus jam even more than marmalade. The first year I made it, I never made marmalade again.

I like to bake pound cakes with some of my citrus jam. So good.


It looks lovely! I will sometimes have a box or 2 of pectin left over from the previous year, and I’ve never had a problem with it. Maybe it would be an issue if it was several years old - dunno. Now you’re motivating me to go on a hunt for some Meyer lemons - sadly we’re not in a citrus growing zone, dang it!

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That looks great! How does it taste? 20+ years at “jamcrafting” means you have a lot of skills. And, like anyone who uses a water bath canning method, you’ve probably had a few jars crack! I hate that sound! Even when the jars get filled very hot, right out of boiling water, ones with weak spots (often well-used) pop once the lids are on and a little pressure builds up. (Yes, still “finger-tight”.)

As long as pectin is kept sealed and dry, it keeps for a number of years.

The non-bath method for acidic, full-sugar jam/jelly pretty much produces an environment hostile to bacteria, too much sugar and acid. The few times something grew in the jars, it was surface mold and the contents pitched. Most of the time, the jars lost their seal over time, sometimes years. The conventional wisdom is to water bath most jellies/jams for 10–15 minutes. I’ve still encountered mold, every so often, in even water bath canned jellies; which leads me to believe: Boiling for 10–15 minutes does not completely guarantee complete sterilization. Some mold spores are very resistant to heat.

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To start:

This batch wound up using a dozen baseball sized oranges. First they got zested:

Then pithed (is that a word? I dunno but you need a helmet).


I also chopped the zest a bit. It made 8 cups of pulp zest ,& juice

Into the pot for 4&5 minute simmer. Then back to the boil & add sugar & boil for another 5 mins. Add the

Pectin. Back to a boil gor a minute & into the jars. 10ins at full boil & voila: This particular batch made 11 8 oz jars.


No idea why this pic didnt load.


Thanks! Those are one piece lids? I’ve heard of them but never seen them.

Yes this is a 250 ml tureen jar with a 1 piece lid. I buy them from Nakpunar which is close to me so no shipping. You csn buy from them online also & their shipping is very reasonable.-


I’m curious, I’ve not heard of this company before. Have you had great success with waterbath canning in these one piece jars? Your pictures are fantastic. Such precise prep work!

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They are a small local company. Ive been buying jars, lids & etc from them for 5-6 years now. & we buy a lot of jars. Everything i ever bought from them has been top shelf. Their website is not the easiest but you can call them & talk to Nellie. Tell her Mr. John sent you. Shes fantastic.

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