Homemade Pineapple Jam (and how to water bath can your jam for longer-term storage)

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Pineapple Jam made with fresh whole pineapples!

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!

Pineapple Jam:

Fresh Pineapples make awesome jam!

  • 1 whole pineapple
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 4 T. low sugar pectin
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 T. butter (optional)

Hardware:

  • half pint canning jars (approx. 6-7)
  • new lids
  • rings
  • large stock pot with rack
  • large tongs
  • ladle

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.  Omit the butter if you are vegan or want to avoid dairy.)  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.)

 

Comments

  1. Jessvelle says:

    hello!!! Can I use your photos for our school project?

    Thank you :)

  2. Kimberly W. says:

    Starting my 3rd batch!!!! Love this recipe!! Thank you

  3. lisa says:

    I am at 3,000-3,500′. What would be my processing time? How would I need to change the recipe to add jalapeno?

  4. Suzanne says:

    Hello! I was so happy to find your recipe for fresh pineapple jam. All of the recipes I found online and in my cookbooks called for either fresh pineapple with way more sugar that fruit (*BLECH!*) or canned pineapple with more sugar that fruit (double *BLECH!*). This recipe is the best because it not only calls for fresh pineapple, but less sugar. When I eat my jam, I like to taste the fruit and not the tons of sugar that most American jam, jelly, and preserve recipes use.

    • Mika Mika says:

      I agree… too much sugar overpowers the fruit and then all you can taste is the sweetness. The low-sugar pectin is great because you don’t have to be a slave to the sugar for preservation! The only thing is that low sugar jams tend to darken over time – it doesn’t affect the taste though. :)

  5. Linda Webster says:

    3t is that teaspoon or tablespoon

    • Mika Mika says:

      3 T. = 3 Tablespoons. :)

      A capital letter “T.” is the standard abbreviation for “tablespoon”.
      a lowercase “tsp.” is the standard abbreviation for “teaspoon”.

  6. kooka7 says:

    Oh wow…. I am new to canning having lived my life in Australia where fruit/veggies are abundant year round so a new take on life for me experiencing and loving this whole caper with canning now that we as a family are living in Canada…(with 5 young kids canning can be a challenge time wise in-between the kinder and school run) …however…. thanks so much for this pineapple jam recipe…. I’m having great success in the canning office, aka kitchen… and loving every nano second of it … and this recipe makes it soooo much more easier for me too… so thanks very much for the recipe as I have never consumed pineapple jam but will shortly and introduce my family to it too other than the pineapple fritters on the BBQ LOL… awesome site… thanks so much again…

  7. Nay says:

    This is my first ever attempt at canning and I am doing so with no proper appliances, just a big pot, boiling water and jars- success!! I’ve just made a half batch of this Jam and oh wow does it taste good!! I’m planning on storing aside same jars for the future and having one now, in your experience, how long does it last once opened? Both freshly made and in 6 months time… Thank you :)

    • Mika Mika says:

      Well, I store my opened jams in the refrigerator and they can last quite a long time… as long as you are careful not to introduce crumbs or other ingredients (like using a knife that you used to spread onto bread with for example). I have an opened jar in my fridge that has been store for 3 months and it’s still good. Just be careful and make sure you take a good look before using – if you see anything that looks moldy, smells funny, or seems not quite right… throw it out.

  8. Trisa says:

    I’m pretty new to canning, and all the recipes I’ve seen require a packet of pectin, is the 3 tablespoons of pectin equal to one packet?

    • Mika Mika says:

      Are you using low sugar pectin or regular pectin (because they are not interchangeable). For this recipe, use 4 T. of low sugar pectin. If you are purchasing the packets, you may need a little over 1 packet for the full 4 T.

  9. Marjorie says:

    Hello Mika, am Marjorie from Cameroon, I have quite an interest in jam and while searching for recipes, I stumbled on yours. I have a worry. am producing a reduced sugar jam but my texture is not appealing to me yet.i.e it doesnt look jelly, its just thick. Is that normal?

  10. DMC says:

    I am planning on trying this tomorrow! Thanks for sharing this recipe!! I’ll let you know how it turns out =)

  11. Peggy Valdes says:

    How can I convert this recipe into sugar free jam, using stevia or honey, etc.?

    • Mika Mika says:

      Well… I think you can buy “sugar free pectin” and follow the instructions on the label to properly make “sugar free jam”. Sugar helps give jam preservative properties, so you can’t just substitute in a recipe that calls for sugar. And if you are planning on making it “sugar free”, then keep in mind honey is very similar (chemical wise) to high fructose corn syrup. So using honey will not make your jam sugar free – you might as well just use plain old sugar in that case and save yourself the hassle!

  12. Yolanda says:

    “Make sure you have at least 1″ of water covering the top of the jars.” – - I would like to try this recipe soon but I have a concern. Won’t the water seep into the jar?

    • Mika Mika says:

      No… as long as you screw the jars closed. The heat creates an outward pressure to drive air out of the jars when in the boiling water bath… when you take them out and cool them on the counter afterwards, this creates the vacuum seal. (Don’t overly tighten the jars though… just finger tighten only).

    • frank says:

      The hot product in the jars is trying to expand. Not enough head space will cause product to be forced out of the jars in to the surrounding water. Do not over tighten the rings. finger tight only. Rings will be lose not lids when processing is done and jars have cooled. You should probably read up on the basics of canning!

  13. Megan says:

    Appx how much is 1 pineapple? I am using pre-cored and wedged (but fresh) pineapple.

    Thanks!

    Megan

  14. Paul Dolph Jr.. says:

    Did everything to a t and it’s like syrup?

  15. Sylvia says:

    Hi,how long can I keep the unopened jars for if I were to do the water bath canning ? Thanks

    • Mika Mika says:

      Probably for 6 months to 1 year? Just keep in mind that low sugar jams tend to discolor over time (without the extra sugar’s preservative power).

  16. skathy says:

    great recipe…but I can’t use fresh due to neuropathy in hands could I use canned in own juice instead?

  17. Tricia says:

    I’m so excited I found this recipe. I’ve never made jam before and my 80 year old grandma loves pineapple. I tried this for her and she eats it every morning. She goes through about a jar a week! She’s determined I should sell this at the grocery store until I remind her it’s not my recipe. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  18. susan wolslegel says:

    I have some of the new reformulated sure jell low/no sugar. It says 3T=1 old box. Since your link is to the older one 6t=1 BOX i am guessing I will need 2T instead if the 4 your recipe calls for-is that correct????

    Thanks

  19. Tara says:

    Help! I accidentally used freezer pectin. It’s my first time making jam and I’m not sure what to do. It’s runny and not setting. Any suggestions.

    • Mika Mika says:

      I’m not familiar with freezer pectin… maybe take a look at the instructions on the box and see if there are any directions that can help you modify the recipe to a freezer jam?

    • sue says:

      Got box? Can you contact company and ask for help? They are usually very good about that sort of thing. I called SureJell when there were no recipes in box and they were very helpful (seems they had a run with the recipes being left out that year)

  20. Doris says:

    I have the regular liquid package pectin from Certo (6 fluid oz per package I think)… do you know how much I should use for your recipe?

  21. Doris says:

    How much sugar I should add if I use regular pectin?

    • Mika Mika says:

      Usually regular pectin recipes call for much more sugar… possibly double? You may want to check the package for recommendations.

  22. Elaine says:

    This recipe turned out fantastic! It jelled perfectly. I did take another reviewer’s recommendation to add a tsp of five spice powder. It added a lot to the flavor. The recipe filled 12 jelly jars exactly. I will definitely make this again.

  23. Tammy says:

    Just tried your recipe but wanted to let you know I added lavender (hydrosol) to mine (at the end). It tastes amazing! You get the chunky pineapple up front followed by the lavender. I would like to try this with pineapple juice, should I use the same quantities?
    Thanks for sharing!

  24. Barbara says:

    Hi Mika, I just bought six pineapple on sale and I will be making both canned pineapple and fresh pineapple jam. I can’t wait to try your jam recipe it sounds wonderful!

  25. Rose says:

    1/2 tsp salt way too much. Ruined my first batch which otherwise was perfect. Second batch perfect only a dash of salt used

    • Mika Mika says:

      Sorry to hear that. I feel like the salt helps – but if it doesn’t work for you, then it’s best to adjust and use less. The type of salt used can make a difference – I typically use sea salt which by volume is less salty than table salt. I will update the recipe to clarify.

  26. Becky says:

    I would love to make this without pectin…
    Any ideas on cooking times?

  27. Gloria Moen says:

    Pineapple jam did not set. Neither did my mint. I have done other jams for 30 years no problem. What should I do?

    • Mika Mika says:

      I’m not sure? Did you use this recipe (there is no mint jam recipe here)? When jam doesn’t set you may want to check your pectin and make sure you are measuring all ingredients and using the appropriate amount of sugar called for. If you are making a recipe that calls for low sugar pectin, and you substitute regular pectin, then the amount of sugar in the recipe will not be enough.

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