Summertime is when I tend to make a bunch of jam… fruit is fresh, in season, and typically on sale! A few days ago, my friend brought me 4 pineapples from her grocery run up to the Asian market in Orange County… she had a craving for pineapple jam and was hoping I would be making some soon. Perfect timing!
You could probably make this jam with canned pineapple – but I wouldn’t recommend it. Fresh pineapple has so much more flavor… canned pineapple just isn’t the same.
If you plan to eat the jam immediately, or store in the freezer, then you don’t have to do the water bath canning/processing steps. It is quite easy, though, to water-bath can your jams and jellies… all you need are 1/2 pint canning jars (with new lids – never reuse the lids!), a large stock pot, and a rack to fit the bottom.
The instructions below for water-bath canning will work fine for you as long as you live 1,000 ft from sea level. Any higher in elevation, you might need to add additional processing time. Questions about the process? Write me a comment below, and I’ll try to respond as soon as I can. :) Happy jamming!
- 1 whole pineapple
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3 T. lemon juice
- 4 T. low sugar pectin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 c. sugar
- 1/2 T. butter (optional)
- half pint canning jars (approx. 6-7)
- new lids
- large stock pot with rack
- large tongs
1. To make the jam, first sterilize your jars. Put the clean jars on top of a rack inside a large stock pot. Add the tongs, ladle, and rings, then fill up the pot with water. Bring the pot to a boil, and allow all of the materials to sterilize for about 10-15 minutes in the boiling water. (You only need to sterilize your jars if you are planning on water bath canning your jam. If you plan to store in the freezer, or use right away, you can skip the canning steps.)
2. Cut the top off the pineapple. Then, remove the rind using a large knife to cut down from the flower end to the stem end.
3. Quarter the pineapple, and remove the core. Cut into chunks and pulverize in a food processor until the consistency of applesauce. You should have about 4 cups of pineapple puree. If you have less, add water to make it equal 4 cups.
4. Put the pineapple puree, lemon zest, lemon juice, pectin, and salt into a pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the sugar, then bring back to a boil. Add the butter (this step is optional – it will help reduce foaming.) Boil hard for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow the jam to cool slightly for 5-10 minutes.
6. Remove the hot sterilized jars to a clean towel on your counter.
7. Using the sterilized ladle, fill the jars with the jot jam, leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Meanwhile, put your clean lids back into the hot water to soften the adhesive and sterilize.
8. Wipe the rims with a clean paper towel (moistened with the hot boiling water), place the hot sterilized lids on top, then screw the rings on finger tight.
9. Put the filled jars back into the pot of hot water, and bring back to a boil. Make sure you have at least 1″ of water covering the top of the jars. (Air bubbles will be released from the sealed jars – do not let those escaping bubbles fool you into thinking the water is boiling. You can see one of these air bubbles in the photo below.) Boil for 10 minutes to sterilize and seal. You may need to add extra time depending on your particular elevation.
10. Once you have boiled the jars for 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and use the tongs to carefully remove the hot jars to a towel o the counter top to cool. Leave the jars undisturbed overnight. Check the seals in the morning to make sure the top of the lid doesn’t move when you push down on it. You will probably get about 6 to 7 half-pint jars of jam with one batch. (You can double the recipe… but you will probably need to process the jam in the water bath in two separate batches. Do not triple the recipe or expand the recipe beyond double… large batches tend not to set properly.)