How to Easily Make Pineapple Jam! EASY, illustrated step-by-step instructions!

This month's notes: September 2014: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries tomatoes, corn and most vegetables are being picked in most places; strawberries are finishing or done; Peaches are in and early apples have started. Find a local blueberry festival and blueberry picking tips here. See how easy it is to make strawberry jam or strawberry-rhubarb jam! Make your own homemade strawberry ice cream including low fat, low sugar and other flavors))  Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy canning and freezing directions!

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How to Make Homemade Pineapple Jam - Easily!

Click here for a PDF print version

Making and canning your own pineapple jam is also quite easy. Here's how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated. If your looking for a jam recipe and directions, click here! We also have directions to make applesauce, apple butter, pickles and others!

Ingredients and Equipment

Yield: About 4 or 5 half-pint jars

  • Pineapple - One 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple
  • Lemon Juice - 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sugar - about 3.5 cups of dry, granulated (table) sugar
  • Pectin - about 1  packets (it's a natural product,  made from apples and available at grocery stores (season - spring through late summer) and local "big box" stores. It usually goes for about $2.00 to $2.50 per box.  See here for more information about how to choose the type of pectin to use.
  • Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the jar grabber.
  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars) - Big box stores and grocery stores sometimes carry them; and it is available online - see this page. It's a tremendously useful to put jars in the canner and take the hot jars out (without scalding yourself!).  The kit sold below has everything you need, and at a pretty good price:

 

  • At least 1 large pot; I prefer 16 to 20 quart Teflon lined pots for easy cleanup.
  • Large spoons and ladles
  • 1 Canner (a huge pot to sanitize the jars after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores, sometimes at big box stores and grocery stores.).  Note: we sell canners and supplies here, too - at excellent prices - and it helps support this web site!
  • Ball jars (Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger, Safeway carry them, as do some big box stores - about $8 per dozen quart jars including the lids and rings)
  • Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar.  They may only be used once.
  • Rings - metal bands that secure the lids to the jars.  They may be reused many times.

Optional stuff:

  • Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling water where you sanitize them. ($2 at big box stores or it comes in the kit at left)

Pineapple Jam Directions

Yield: about 4 or 5 eight-ounce jars.

 

Step 1 - Gather the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients. In this case, canned pineapple works better, due to its consistency.

 

Step 2 - Get the jars and lids washed

The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle; you don't really have to sanitize the jars - the boiling water bath sanitizes everything, jar, lid, contents and all; but you DO want to get the jars as clean as you can first.  I get the dishwasher going while I'm preparing everything else, so the jars are clean and hot (and less likely to crack when you put boiling hot fruit in them)  by the time I'm ready to fill the jars.

Lids:  Put the lids into a pan of hot water for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean the lids.


Need lids, rings and replacement jars? 

Get them all here, delivered direct to your home,  at the best prices on the internet!

 

Step 3 - Mix the pineapple with the pectin

Mix the pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar (set the rest of the sugar aside for now).  This helps to keep the pectin from clumping up.

Stir the pectin/1/4 cup sugar mixture into the chopped fruit. Put the mix in a big pot and put it on the stove

Notes about pectin: With pineapple I usually add about 50% more pectin (just open another pack and add about half) or else the jam is runnier than I like. BUT pineapple usually thickens pretty well, so try 1 packet and see hw well it thickens.. With a little practice, you'll find out exactly how much pectin to get the thickness you like. 

Another tip: use the no-sugar pectin.  It cuts the amount of sugar you need from 7 cups per batch to 4 cups!  And it tastes even better!  On the other hand; I have never had success with the No-sugar pectin.  It always turned out runny and bland.  You might want to try using the low sugar recipe with a mixture of sugar and Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda); that could work.

 

 

Is your jam too runny? Pectin enables you to turn out perfectly set jam every time.  Made from natural apples, there are also low-sugar pectins that allow you  to reduce the sugar you add by almost half! 
Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!

 

 

Step 4 - Bring to a boil

Bring the mixture back to a full boil. 

Step 5 - Add the sugar and return to a full boil

Add the remaining sugar (about 3.25 cups) and bring the mixture back to a full boil.  Once it hits a full, rolling boil, stor and boil for 1 minute!. 

 

Step 6 - Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on

Fill them to within ΒΌ-inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put them into the boiling water canner!

This is where the jar tongs come in really handy!

 

Step 7 - Process the jars in the boiling water bath

Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. Boil them for 5 minutes (at sea level; see the table below for times at other altitudes).

Note: Some people don't even boil the jars; they just ladle it hot into hot jars, put the lids and rings on and invert them - NOT a bright idea. Putting the jars in the boiling water bath REALLY helps to reduce spoilage! To me, it makes little sense to put all the working into making the jam and then not to process the jars to be sure they don't spoil!

 Recommended process time for Pineapple Jam in a boiling water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints
or Pints
5 min 10 15

 

Step 8 - Done

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight)  You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.

It may take up to two weeks for the jam to set and thicken up. It will be runny until then!

Once cooled, they're ready to store.   I find they last about 18 months.  After that, the get darker in color and start to get runny. They still seem safe to eat, but the flavor is bland.  So eat them in the first 12 to 18 months after you prepare them!

This document was adapted from "How to Make Jellies, Jams and Preserves at Home." Home and Garden Bulletin No. 56. Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 1982 reprint. National Center for Home Food Preservation, June 2005.

 

Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs 
            to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter 
            - to remove lids from the pot 
            of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid 
           - disposable - you may only 
           use them once
  4. Ring 
          - holds the lids on the jar until after
          the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel
          - to fill the jars

 

You can get all of the tools in a kit here:

 

Ball home canning kit water bath canner

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
 


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This is THE book on canning!  My grandmother used this book when I was a child.  It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc.  If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)

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Summary - Cost of Making Homemade Pineapple Jam - makes 10 jars of 8 oz each*

Item Quantity Cost in 2012 Source Subtotal
Pineapple 1 20 oz can or 1 fresh pineapple $3.00 Grocery store $3.00
Canning jars (8 oz size), includes lids and rings 10 jars $6.50/dozen Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.) $5.50
Sugar 4 cups $2.00  Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.) $2.00
Pectin (low sugar, dry) 1 and a third boxes $2.00 per box Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.) $2.70
Total $13.20 total
 or about  $1.32 per jar

* - This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars!  Many products are sold in jars that will take the lids and rings for canning.  For example, Classico Spaghetti sauce is in quart sized jars that work with Ball and Kerr lids and rings. Note that the Classico's manufacturer does not recommend reuse of their jars: see what they have to say on this page:

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Answers to Common Questions

If you want to learn how NOT to make marmalade, read this entertaining account from this Australian woman who is either incredibly cheap or a slow learner... but either way, it's a funny story!

And if our recipe is too EASY for you and you would like a much more complicated approach that will take about 4 hours to complete, try Delia Smith's (a cook who is famous in the UK) pineapple jam recipe!

 

Don't forget about us in the Spring for pick your own strawberries, vegetables oand other fruit! See our companion websites, www.pickyourownchristmastree.org for choose and cut Christmas tree farms and PumpkinPatchesAndMore.org to find a corn maze, hay ride and more in October!

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