As a food blogger, I’m always trying to give things a new and unique twist, much to the chagrin of my husband, who would much rather just have something basic.
“Honey dearest, what kind of jam should I make with all these peaches/strawberries?”
“Just plain peach/strawberry. Don’t do anything weird.”
“Please, you know I’m not going to make you plain ass jam.”
“Grumble grumble grumble.”
Pardon my language, but I swear, all he ever wants is plain ass this and plain ass that (at least when it comes to jam and cake, which he argues don’t need any weird flavor additions/combinations.) If I always listened to his ideas (or lack thereof) I wouldn’t have very many exciting things to post, that’s for sure.
But… I finally gave in this year, making a single batch of plain strawberry and plain peach to appease his requests.
Not being one to give in entirely, I designed some labels for his plain ass jam. Tongue-and-cheek, if you will, my “take that” to him for his boring requests. Because I’m not one to do anything half-assed. Even if it is plain ass jam.
I will admit that, as much as love unique flavor combinations like strawberry jalapeño and peach passion fruit, a basic recipe like this one has its merits. Use it as a starting point for your own creative jams (if your husband lets you, that is). As long as the ratios of fruit to sugar remain relatively the same, and you stick to high-acid fruits (go bananas, but don’t use bananas, essentially). You can play with flavors and mix fruits to your hearts desire.
Of course, if it really just is plain ass jam you want, it’s plain ass jam you will get.
Labels and all.
Basic Peach & Strawberry Jam
- 4 cups chopped fruit*
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
- 4 teaspoons calcium water (included with the pectin)
- Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 5 half-pint mason (or equivalent) jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use. Warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.
- Pour fruit into a large, heavy saucepan with lemon juice, and calcium water. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk together pectin and sugar until evenly incorporated. Whisk in to fruit, stirring vigorously until completely dissolved. Continue to stir until mixture returns to a full rolling boil. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, skimming off any foam that may have formed.
- Ladle jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Screw on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.
*To prepare peaches, peel, pit, and coarsely chop. For strawberries, remove hulls. Pulse fruit in a food processor until coarsely chopped; do not liquefy as you still want chunks of fruit in your final jam. Approximately 2 1/2 pounds of peaches or strawberries should yield 4 cups of fruit.
Did you make this recipe?
Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment below or share a photo and tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.
Bonus Printable Labels
Even plain ass jam doesn’t have to be boring. At least when it comes to the jar. Perfect for canners with a sense of humor who like to gift their jams to an equally appreciative crowd. Sure, some may not get it (in which case they may wonder why in the world there’s a donkey on their jam jar), but it’s the thought that counts, right? Right.
The downloadable PDF file includes two dozen 1.25-by-2.25-inch rectangle labels, half peach and half strawberry, designed to perfectly fit my 6oz hex jars, but would also fit nicely on the side of just about any smooth-sided jar. I used some awesome clear gloss labels (inkjet friendly!) for these, but you could certainly print them on white, kraft, or colored labels as well.
To use, simply download the printable file by completing the form below. Print your labels onto full-sheet sticker paper, cut out, and apply directly to the the finished jars.
New follower. I absolutely love your recipes and labels. Can I ask what you use to create them? I wanted to create a label for a different type of jam but have never done so before.
All the labels are created in Illustrator. :)
We don’t get that brand of pectin where I live, and definitely not any with water.
Why calcium water?
Can I just use plain pectin?
Pomona’s relies on calcium to acheive a proper set instead of sugar like other brands/non-pectin jam, which is why you can use less sugar. If you substitute a different pectin, I recommend following the basic peach or strawberry jam recipe that comes with your pectin packet insert.
I have a couple of questions. What is calcium water? Does it have to be pamona’s pectin, and is it a liquid? I’ve never made a jam or canned anything, but you’ve inspired me. When making a strawberry jalapeño jam, how or when do you incorporate the jalapeño?
Thanks for your recipes and time!
Calcium water comes with the Pomona’s pectin. As opposed to regular pectin that requires sugar, Pomona’s relies on calcium to acheive a proper set. If you substitute a different pectin you’d need to follow the instructions and proportions for fruit/sugar needed (look at a basic recipe on the pack insert).
The recipe for the strawberry jalapeño is here, it tells you exactly when/how to incorporate the other flavors: http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2014/05/strawberry-jalapeno-and-strawberry-basil-jam.html
Shameless admiration here: I absolutely adore an envy your design skills. Have you ever considered teaching your craft online? I’d be the first to sign up.
You go. Girl! You proved the adage of making lemonade out of lemons. Plus
you made me laugh. Me and probably every other woman reading this blog. Still smiling as I am typing.
Thanks for being a Pomona’s Pectin jammer and blogging about it. I enjoyed reading and your labels are very creative and cute! I have a question of curiosity for you — in our recipes we say to mash the fruit (as opposed to just chopping the peaches). When you chop, mash, and then measure the fruit, you have more fruit in 4 cups than when you just chop and measure. I was wondering if you are happy with the jell in your jam? Sometimes when fruit is chopped and not mashed , and the full 3 teaspoons of pectin are used, the jam gets too jelled. Just curious . . . and thanks again for writing about Pomona’s Pectin.
Interesting to know! I usually finely chop it in a food processor. I find that’s a good combination of chopping/mashing, and so far I’ve had good results using that method. As long as it’s not liquefied (easy to overboard in a food processor!) since I still like some chunk/texture in there. :)
For comparison, when you make peach jam, how many pounds of peaches do you use to get your 4 cups? I used about 2 1/2 pounds with my food processor method.
Lindsay! This post is so awesome. Just when I thought you had given up the fight, you rolled off another. And another and another, seamlessly. Hilarious!!! I’m wondering what Taylor says under his breath every time he reaches for that plain jam he asked for…
I’m dying over here, ha! You’re hilarious. That jalapeno jam sounds pretty delicious, but I have to say, these plain ass jams look pretty awesome, too! ;)
HA! Love this.. All my kids ever want are plain ass chocolate chip cookies. Of course they don’t say that, but that’s what I hear :)
Dying over the labels…so cute!
Cutest labels ever! Love the simplicity of this. It’s a blank canvas for endless amounts of recipes or just plain toast ;)
Lindsay! You crack me up. Showing these to Dan…
HILARIOUS. You should market this.
HA! I love it! And I have to admit that I generally prefer the plain-ass jam myself. Especially peach — so good! And you can always make it versatile later by mixing it with herbs & etc on the spot.
great look, love the clear labels
HOW cute are those labels? I always love seeing these pop up on the blog. Tons of peaches in the freezer just screaming to jam out!
I’m with you – try not to stay away from ‘plain’ recipe :) Totally love the flavors and of course, label.
Lindsay, I gave up making jam years ago, but I am keeping the recipe and did download the labels – just in case. How could anyone not download those labels? You gave both me and my husband a good laugh with the labels and your dialog. I’m sure my husband sympathizes with yours, because he’s generally not that adventurous with food. But he’s been forced into it since he married me because his exotic is my normal, plus I love to try new things. Thank you very much for making me laugh in addition to sharing great recipes.
Haha!! I love that you added an ass to the labels too! This sounds like a conversation that Connor and I would and have already, on multiple occasions, had. This jam DOES sound perfect though.
The jam sounds perfect. I like a little PLAIN jam on my crumpets/toast/etc. Just the flavor of the fruit.
Thanks for the labels.
How I would love to make my own jam! It is something that is on my food bucketlist for next year. Your recipe looks very manageable and I will save it for when I will be making the jam. And I must say the labels are genius!
Thanks so much for making me laugh this morning. Love the labels! Know the jam is awesome..
Always love your stories! My husband has gotten more adventurous with his eating, but at his core, he’s just a regular ol’ steak and potatoes kind of guy. I’m sure he would appreciate the plain jams more than the other stuff while I am positive I need the Strawberry Jalapeño in my life ASAP.
I did so much canning over the summer- peach and strawberry especially so I definitely made some weird things and my boyfriend kind of had the same reaction. I had to make a few plain…I love these labels -they’re hilarious! I’ll have to download them and use some myself!
I am laughing so hard at those labels! Love it!!!
The labels are awesome, I’m going to have to have a go at printing onto this label type.
Thanks a lot, now I am inspired to make jam out of my fruit, as I live in a part of Denmark, where a lot of fruit grows outside the door and I have always been sad, when it all had to go to waste:-)