Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse. Fill a large-sized pot about two-thirds full of hot tap water. Place the jars, upright, into the water. Ensure the jars are fully submerged, each jar filled with water, and that the water is at least an inch over the tops of the jars, adding more, if necessary. Cover, bring to a boil, and boil gently for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the jars in the hot water to have ready to fill once the jam finishes cooking.
Yield: Apx. 2 half-pint bottles and 1 quarter-pint bottle
NOTE 1: If a candy thermometer is not available, place 2-3 freezer-safe saucers in freezer. To determine if jam is set, place a small amount of jam on chilled saucer and slightly ‘tilt and swirl’ saucer around to distribute the jam. Let jam sit, untouched, for about a minute, then gently push your finger through the jam. If the jam holds its shape (i.e., does not immediately run back together after the finger has been removed from the jam), it is set and ready to bottle. If not, continue to cook mixture, repeating the “chill” test about every 3 minutes or so (always removing the pot from the heat while conducting the chill test) until the jam passes the “chill” test.
NOTE 2: The small ½-cup (quarter-pint) jar does not actually need the full 10 minutes of hot water canning. However, to remove it partway through, at the 5-minute point in the boiling process, would disturb the rolling boil and timing and thus interfere with the proper canning of the larger half-pint jars so, there are a couple of options. The first is to let the small jar remain in the hot water bath with the half-pint jars for the full 10-minute period. The second option is not to process the tiny jar in the hot water and to, instead, use it as the “tasting jar”, consuming the jam within a couple of days. However, if the desire is to can the entire batch of jam into the small ½-cup (quarter-pint) jars, then process the basket of them for 5 minutes, instead of 10. These tiny bottles make great gifts, especially if they are accompanied by fresh scones!