Root Beer Jelly - Jam - Guide to Canning at Home

Jan 21, 2006 by PIgirl | 1 Comments| Share it:   

Delicious!

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Intro

The holiday season is a great time to try your hand at a homemade jam. Don’t be intimidated! It’s simple, fun, delicious, and makes a great present!

I’m going to demonstrate what has to be the easiest jam recipe ever - Root Beer Jam.

Ok, first things first. Hardware:
I’m using 4 oz quilted jam jars with 2 piece lids - the flat pieces have an adhesive compound on them that’s heat activated - the screw bands are mainly to hold the lids in place while the heat seals them. The fruity pattern is optional. The jar lifter, tongs, and canning funnel are not. None of this stuff is expensive - I got all this at Walmart.

Info

  • Prep: 30 mins. - 1 hr.
  • Cook: ~30 mins.
  • Serves: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz bottle root beer
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 3 oz packet liquid pectin (Don't use powdered pectin - your jelly won't set properly and you'll have syrup. It would be good, just not what we're going for.)

Step 1

Photo of root beer, pectin, and sugar.

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Step 2

Another photo:

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Step 3

First you need to boil your jars and the band piece of your lids to sterilize them. If the recipe had a long processing time, you could get away with just running them through the dishwasher and taking them out while they're hot. But our recipe only calls for 5 minutes of processing time, so a 10 minute boil it is. I like these small jars a lot because I can sterilize and process them in my 4 quart pot. Anything bigger requires a bigger pot.

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Step 4

But how will you get your hot jars out of the boiling water? With your handy jar lifter.

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Step 5

These need to go on a soft surface. If you put them directly on a cold counter top, they might shatter. I use a plastic cutting board with a clean dish towel on it, like so:

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Step 6

Now the rest of your tools should go into the boiling water so they don't contaminate your clean jars:

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Step 7

And your flat lid pieces can go in a small pan of simmering water: Don't boil these - you can ruin the sealing compound.

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Step 8

All right, now that everything's clean and ready, add the root beer to the sugar:

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Step 9

Step 10

Bring to a boil:

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Step 11

Set your trusty timer for 30 seconds. Add your packet of pectin, and boil for exactly 30 seconds, while stirring like crazy: Remove from the heat. Congratulations! Your jam is done! Now onto the preserving portion of our lesson.

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Step 12

Place your funnel in your jar, like so:

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Step 13

Take a ladle full of hot jam:

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Step 14

Pour into the jar, so it comes just up into the neck of the funnel. Remove the funnel, and you should have about a half inch of head room: Repeat with your remaining jars.

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Step 15

Take a clean damp paper towel, and wipe the excess jam from around the top of the jars. Sticky residue could interfere with getting a good seal. Repeat with your remaining jars.

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Step 16

With your fingertips, place a flat lid on your jar, centering the red ring on the rim, like so:

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Step 17

Set a band on top, and turn until it is finger tight. This means turn it until you feel resistance, and then give it about another half turn. Don't go crazy tightening it; you just need to keep the lid on in the boiling water. Repeat with your remaining jars.

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Step 18

Lift your jar into the boiling water with your jar lifter:

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Step 19

I put a small round wire rack in the bottom of my pan, because putting the jars directly onto the stainless steel bottom could crack them. The water should come up about an inch over the tops of the jars: Let it process in the boiling water for 5 minutes.

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Step 20

I had to do mine in two batches because you can't really crowd the pan. Then you remove them to your towel covered cutting board with your jar lifter, and let them sit to cool for at least 8 hours. In the first few minutes, you may hear popping noises. That's good! It means the vacuum inside is pulling the lids down so tight they're flexing concave. After 8 hours, press on the lid with your thumb. It should be concave downward. If it won't pop back up, you've got a good seal. This jam will be liquid when stored at room temp, but will firm up to jelly consistency in the fridge. This is a great introductory recipe to canning. It's pretty cool to look in your pantry and have jars of homemade goodness that are shelf-stable. I've even started canning homemade salsa, but instructions for THAT will have to wait until it's tomato season again. In the meantime, try this recipe! (I've heard it works for just about any soda.)

Now that you have learned how to make root beer jelly - jam - guide to canning at home, please be sure to view these other jelly / jam recipes. Also, you will love these American recipes.

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1 Comment

user does not have an avatar lilbear

Jun 18, 2008

Sounds interesting.  I’m just curious - what do you put this on? Toast?

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